Michigan Horse Racing Bill Passes Senate

Michigan bill awaits governor's signature.

December 17, 2012

Generic Racing Photo

A Michigan horse racing legislation bill has passed the state's Senate by a 24-11 vote on Thursday. It is now awaiting the Governor's signature.

The bill, HB 5546, introduced by Rep. Kevin Daley, updates racing regulations in an effort to put the industry in a more favorable economic position for growth and success.

In detail, the legislation would:

  • Defines pari-mutuel wagers to allow for things such as instant racing and provide clarity with constitutional provisions as it relates to casino-type and electronic betting systems. The tracks would pay a 15 percent tax on commissions from pari-mutuel wagers.
  • The new tax (the tracks currently only pay taxes on simulcast betting) would be split with 75 percent to the state general fund and 12.5 percent each to the county and the municipality where the track is located.
  • Eliminate restrictions that had once separated tracks near Detroit from the rest of the tracks in the state.
  • Allows up to five tracks statewide to anticipate the possible reopening of Pinnacle Raceway.
  • Standardbred tracks would have to apply for a minimum of 50 days of racing and Thoroughbred tracks would have to seek at least 75 days.

 Michigan residents can call the governor's office to express support for the bill at (517) 335-7858.