Although horse racing in Michigan is fairly well-established, the state will soon update its policies so that fans of the sport can place bets online, rather than just in person. Michigan’s Northville Downs track was shut down until the end of May due to the effects of the pandemic, and the approval of horse betting definitely appears to be a response to concerns over the virus.
Among other things, state regulators aim to increase interest in the sport
While online betting was already available to some degree in the state through third parties since 2019, the latest order by executive director Richard S. Kalm will expand the betting options for both bettors and bookies. As Kalm elaborated, the order will not only offer bettors greater protection but also potentially increase the amount of people interested in horse race betting.
The third-party operators which previously accepted betting in a limited capacity can now apply for a horse betting license that will cost them $1,000, along with a $500 fee for license renewal. Aside from this, the operators will have to present the state with a detailed plan of how they aim to receive bets, as the state mandates that online horse racing bets can only be received using a pari-mutuel system. The latest order is the biggest advancement in Michigan’s online gambling since December 2019, when Governor Gretchen Whitmer signed a bill to regulate gambling and sports betting online.