HomePublicationsNewsletter ArchiveNewslettersVolume 23Issue 20MICHIGAN LEGISLATIVE UPDATE: HORSE RACING; FANTASY SPORTS BILL INTRODUCED IN HOUSE

Horse Racing Bill Referred Out of Senate Committee

Yesterday, June 8, 2017, a bill seeking to allow Michigan residents to electronically wager on horse races was reported favorably and recommended with immediate effect out of the Senate Committee on Agriculture. The bill now goes before the Senate Committee of the Whole for consideration.

H-4 to House Bill No. 4611 (“HB 4611”) previously passed the Michigan House 65-43. It seeks to amend Michigan’s Horse Racing Law of 1995 to allow for Advanced Deposit Wagering on horse 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.

The Michigan Senate is scheduled to be in session until June 15th, after which time it will adjourn for summer recess.

Fantasy Sports Bill Introduced

Yesterday, June 8, 2017, Michigan Rep. Jim Tedder (R-Clarkston) introduced two bills that seek to permit and regulate fantasy sports betting to be offered to adults 18 years or older within the state. House Bill 4743, the “Fantasy Sports Games Consumer Protection Act” would authorize “licensed game operators” to offer fantasy sports games on sporting events (excluding a university, college, high school, or youth sporting event) and would be regulated by the Michigan Department of Regulatory Affairs (“Department”).

The proposed legislation provides an exception to allow game operators that were conducting fantasy sports games in Michigan on May 1, 2016 to continue operating fantasy sports games until the game operator is issued or denied a license under the legislation.

Licenses issued under the proposed legislation are valid for one year and must be renewed annually. The initial and annual fees would be $5,000 and $1,000, respectively and must not exceed 10% of the total amount of entry fees collected by the applicant from the operation of fantasy games less the total amount of cash and value of cash equivalents paid as prizes or awards to game participants.

The proposed legislation also sets forth procedural requirements that must be submitted to the Department including various safeguards preventing the operator and its close affiliates from competing in a fantasy sports game. 

The legislation is tie barred with House Bill 4742 that seeks to amend the Michigan Penal Code to also allow for fantasy sports games to be offered in Michigan.

 

 

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