Michigan Instant Racing Bill Goes to Governor

The Senate passed a measure by a 24-11 vote early in the morning of Dec. 14.

The Michigan Senate early in the morning of Dec. 14 passed legislation authorizing wagering on historical races, commonly known as Instant Racing, and sent the bill to Gov. Rick Snyder for his signature.

The measure passed the Senate by a 24-11 vote. It cleared the House of Representatives Nov. 8 by a 91-16 vote.

The Michigan Horsemen's Benevolent and Protective Association said "grassroots efforts have worked to this point," and encouraged horsemen to contact the governor's office.

The legislation, which makes changes to pari-mutuel law, calls for 15% of Instant Racing revenue to go to horsemen for purses.

Michigan horse racing has been hard hit by competition from in-state casino gambling. Thoroughbred meets are now held at a country fairgrounds, and Standardbred racing is now limited to three tracks, down from seven years ago.