Michigan Gaming Control Board order allows online and mobile wagering on horse races


In this image taken from video provided by NBC Sports, Secretariat, right, crosses the finish line to win a computer-simulated version of the Kentucky Derby horse race between the 13 winners of the Triple Crown, Saturday, May 2, 2020, in Louisville, Ky. The race was part of NBC’s substitute programming after the Kentucky Derby was postponed by the coronavirus pandemic. (NBC Sports via AP)

Detroit, Mich. (WLNS) — A new order will make online and mobile wagering on horse races a new option for bettors, according to The Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Richard S. Kalm.

Kalm said Tuesday that horse racing third-party facilitators seeking a license to offer advance deposit wagering (ADW) in Michigan must comply with terms and conditions established by the new order.

“The order should enable the state’s horse racing industry to gain new followers through ADW and maintain protection for citizens who wish to place wagers on live and simulcast pari-mutuel racing in Michigan using their mobile phones,” Kalm said. “Before ADW can go live in Michigan, the race meeting licensee and the certified horsemen’s organizations also must agree to a contract with a provider.”

In December 2019, Michigan’s Horse Racing Law of 1995 was amended to allow a race meeting licensee to use contracted third-party firms to facilitate wagering on live and simulcast pari-mutuel racing. A bettor creates an account with the third-party facilitator and can use a mobile device or computer to place wagers on pari-mutuel races using the money on deposit.

The order requires third-party facilitators to:

  • Apply for a license
  • Provide a proposed plan of operation
  • Submit any proposed system operation plan changes to the MGCB executive director for preapproval
  • Pay a $1,000 application fee and a $500 license renewal fee to the MGCB to cover costs of background investigations
  • Use and communicate pari-mutuel wagers to a pari-mutuel system that meets all Michigan requirements

The facilitator may not sell or share an applicant or account holder’s confidential information or use confidential information for any purpose not related to authorized account wagering without the applicant or account holder’s authorization. 

Currently, live and simulcast pari-mutuel wagering is authorized at Northville Downs racetrack, which offers standardbred racing. The track was ordered to remain closed through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-69 due to the COVID-19 health emergency.

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