Horse Racing Bill Passes Michigan House

A bill seeking to allow Michigan residents to electronically wager on horse races recently passed out of the Michigan House of Representatives. On May 23, 2017, H-4 to House Bill No. 4611 (“HB 4611”) passed the Michigan House 65-43. It seeks to amend Michigan’s Horse Racing Law of 1995 to allow for electronic wagering on both in-state horse races as well as out-of-state simulcasted horse races. 

During its March meeting, the Michigan Horse Racing Advisory Commission heard a presentationby a potential provider of Advanced Deposit Wagering services (TVG) regarding its interest in providing its wagering services in the state. TVG offers internet web-based, phone, and mobile device services as well as video streaming of horse races. During the meeting, it was noted that more than 90% of the wagers currently made at Michigan’s horse tracks are on simulcast races.

The legislation seeks to add several key provisions to the current law to allow the Racing Commissioner to license, “third party facilitators” to facilitate electronic wagering on live and simulcast racing. Per the proposed legislation, a third party facilitator license would require a contract with a horse track within the state.

H-4 to HB 4611 has been referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture. Additionally, similar legislation was introduced in the Michigan Senate on May 17, 2017, (Senate Bill 382). It was referred favorably out of Senate Committee on Agriculture and now is at the Committee of the Whole.

Social Gaming Bill Signed by Gov. Snyder

On May 23, 2017,  Governor Snyder signed Senate Bill 0202 amending the Michigan Penal Code to allow social media games  conducted over the internet to reward a player with free plays or extended playing time as a result of playing a game based on chance or an uncertain event.


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