horse racing

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s horse racing industry is trying once again to convince state lawmakers to make a change that would generate more gambling revenue at the state’s four remaining race tracks.

But getting people in the industry to agree on the solution to save their dwindling sport may be a bigger hurdle to overcome.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

Michigan’s horse racing industry may be on the brink of collapse.   

Governor Snyder used a pocket veto to kill a bill that would have expanded betting options at Michigan’s four horse racing tracks.   The governor was concerned the bill was unconstitutional. 

Brett Boyd is the president of the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association.   He says the governor’s veto is a serious blow to Michigan’s ailing horse racing industry.

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

There are several bills passed by the Michigan legislature that are still sitting on the governor’s desk. One of them may hold the fate of Michigan’s horse racing industry.

By one estimate, Michigan’s horse racing industry has lost half its jobs in the past few years. The four tracks operating in Michigan are fighting a losing battle against two dozen casinos, multi-state lotteries and online gaming.

To help, the legislature passed a bill to expand wagering options and gives extra incentives to track owners and horse breeders to invest in Michigan.

(courtesy of Churchill Downs)

Saturday is expected to be the busiest day of the year at Michigan’s four horse racing tracks.

The tracks usually see a big boost in simulcast betting from the Kentucky Derby.

Brett Boyd is president of the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association.    He says Michigan’s ailing horse racing industry relies more and more on the money wagered on the three races.

“This weekend we really hoping the folks come out to one of those four facilities…wager on the Derby…have some fun and make some money,” says Boyd.

Michigan’s horse race tracks have dwindled from 8 to 4 in recent years.   Industry officials blame competition from casinos and other types of gambling, including online gaming.

Brett Boyd hopes the state legislature will change state law to make the tracks more competitive.  Otherwise, he expects two more Michigan horse race tracks may soon close.