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Mobile horse race betting to launch in Michigan


The Michigan Gaming Control Board has approved online and mobile betting on advance deposit horse racing after a new order from executive director Richard S. Kalm.

The order follows an amendment to the state’s horse racing laws made in December 2019, allowing for third party companies to offer wagering on live and simulcast pari-mutuel racing.

The order means these third parties are now also allowed to take bets online.

“The order should enable the state’s horse racing industry to gain new followers through advance deposit wagering and maintain protection for citizens who wish to place wagers on live and simulcast pari-mutuel racing in Michigan using their mobile phones,” Kalm explained.

In order to take online bets, these third-party operators must apply for a license, paying a $1,000 application fee and a $500 license renewal fee to the MGCB to cover costs of background investigations.

In addition, these operators must provide a proposed plan of operation. Betting may only be offered through a pari-mutuel system.

Michigan has one racetrack, Northville Downs in the greater Detroit area. The track was ordered to remain closed through 11:59 p.m. on Thursday, May 28, under an executive order from Governor Gretchen Whitmer.

Bills to regulate online gambling and sports betting in Michigan was signed by Whitmer in December, with retail betting launching on March 11. A similar proposal, put forward by Representative Brandt Iden, had been vetoed by Whitmer’s predecessor Rick Snyder in December 2018.