LANSING (WWJ/AP) - Legislation making its way through Lansing is designed to give Michigan’s struggling horse racing industry a boost.
Proposed changes to the state’s horse racing law would permit raceways to install machines allowing customers to bet based on past races. Bettors get some information provided in programs for live races, but not details to let them know the outcome in advance.
The measure was approved 91-16 last week in the House and is pending in the Senate.
Rep. Kevin Daley, a Republican from Lum in Lapeer County, said the mission behind the legislation is all about reviving horse racing in Michigan.
“The race horse industry has been kind of basically thrown under the bus since the casinos have come into our state. They’ve been unable to go into the modern era of doing some of the modern things to bring more people into their businesses,” Daley told Mlive.com.
Supporters say it would give horse tracks a modern gambling attraction. Some Michigan casino interests say, however, that because of a 2004 constitutional amendment, state and local voters also must approve the change.
“This is, in my opinion, not a bill to expand gambling,” Daley told Mlive.com. “It’s basically just an extension of what they’re already doing at race tracks, in my opinion. They’re just doing this through a machine.”
Tracks with live racing include Mount Pleasant Meadows, Sports Creek Raceway in Swartz Creek, Hazel Park Harness Raceway and Northville Downs.
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