On January 1, 2015, Sports Creek Raceway at Swartz Creek closed its doors after an agreement could not be reached between the track and the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association, leaving only two horse tracks operating within the state.

Rick Kalm, executive director of the Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”) issued a cease and desist order to the track after negotiations failed between the track and horsemen’s association, but he has indicated that the order would be lifted should the parties come to terms over the matter.

“The Horse Racing Act is clear and unequivocal-tracks may not simulcast, or accept wagers on other races, unless they have signed contract for live racing.” said Mr. Kalm. “While I am sorry it has come to this, we do not have any discretion in the matter.”

According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (“MGCB”), for several months it has warned Sports Creek Raceway and the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association that all live horse racing, simulcating and pari-mutuel wagering at the track must stop if the parties don’t sign a contract for live racing before January 1, 2015 deadline. Michigan law strictly prohibits tracks from offering live or simulcast racing without a contract with a horsemen’s organization.

The MGCB also notes that Sports Creek must arrange for bettors to redeem any unpaid winning pari-mutuel wagering tickets issued at the track by March 2, 2015. The MGCB is hopeful that an agreement can be made between the track and horsemen’s association.

 

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