SWARTZ CREEK, Mich. – The horse racing faces increasing competition from other forms of gambling.
Former Gov. Rick Snyder vetoed a bill that could have given it a boost through online betting called Advance-Deposit Wagering.
“The only part of racing that’s growing in any part of the country has been people who just want to wager on their phones through an ADW platform,” said George Kutlenios, president of the Michigan Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Assoc. “It’s been estimated that about $100 million is wagered every year on ADW already.”
In spite of Michigan holding out from legalizing online gambling for horse racing, it is popular in the state and elsewhere, he said.
“The only part of racing that’s growing in any part of the country has been people who just want to wager on their phones through an ADW platform.”
State Rep. Sheldon Neeley (D-34th Dist.) supported the measure, because “many of the counties throughout the State of Michigan probably would have benefitted,” he said.
The impact would have been felt Sports Creek Raceway in Swartz Creek where investors seek to reopen the facility,” Neeley added.
In order to see online betting for horse races in Michigan, a new bill would have to be introduced and pass the House, Senate, and get the governor’s signature. Neeley hopes that will happen under the new administration.
“So, the State of Michigan loses out on all that revenue that they could be collecting the tax on, and all of the horsemen and racetracks additionally lose out on that revenue.”