Michigan approves mobile horseracing betting

Michigan has taken a step towards expanding its gambling market after approving betting on horseracing online.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) has approved online and mobile betting on advance deposit horseracing after a new order was issued by executive director Richard S. Kalm.

This comes after an amendment was made to the state’s horse racing laws in December 2019, which allows third-party companies to offer betting on live and simulcast pari-mutuel horseracing events.

The new order

Now that the order has been issued, third party companies are now allowed to take horseracing bets online in the state of Michigan.

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

“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 order to take online and mobile bets, third-party operators must first apply for a licence, paying a $1,000 application fee and a $500 licence renewal fee to the MGCB to cover the cost of background checks.

Operators hoping to serve the state must also provide the MGCB with a proposed plan of operations. On top of this betting can only be offered through the pari-mutuel system.

Betting in Michigan

Michigan houses just one racetrack, Northville Downs which is located in the greater Detroit area, which must remain closed until midnight on 28 May due to an executive order issued by the Governor. This is part of the state-wide shutdown of non-essential business to help halt the spread of the coronavirus.

On 20 December 2019, Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed HB 4311 into law, creating the Lawful Internet Gaming Act. Under this law, mobile and online casino gambling is now legal in the state of Michigan. Under the law, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) will be granted the power to issue licenses for online and mobile casino gambling.

The state’s governor also approved HB 916, creating the Lawful Sports Betting Act. Under this law, commercial and tribal casinos can offer land-based and online sports betting in Michigan. Governor Whitmer also signed HB 4308 into law, legalizing fantasy sports contests in the state of Michigan.

Michigan’s sports wagering market went live on March 11 with the opening of sportsbooks at Penn National Gaming’s Greektown Casino and the MGM Grand Detroit. Online and mobile sports wagering has yet to go live in the state of Michigan.

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