Tag Archives: Michigan Horse Racing Act of 1995

Change proposed for Michigan state-bred purse supplements

The Michigan State Senate introduced an amendment to the Michigan Horse Racing Act of 1995 on Tuesday to account for the possibility of no live Thoroughbred racing in 2011.

Senate Bill 434, introduced by Fowlerville Sen. Joe Hune, would distribute Michigan’s state-bred purse supplements to horses that win allowance or claiming races outside the state if no live racing is held within the fiscal year. Michigan’s current fiscal year ends Sept. 30.

The bill was referred to the Senate Committee on Agriculture.

Here is the proposed language to be added to the Act (section 6.A). The new addition is in bold…

(a) A sum to be allotted thoroughbred race meeting licensees to supplement the purses for races to be conducted exclusively for Michigan bred horses. If, during a fiscal year, live thoroughbred horse races are not conducted at a licensed race meeting in this state, the sum appropriated under this subdivision shall be paid at the end of the fiscal year to supplement the purses of Michigan bred thoroughbred horses that win allowance and claiming races at licensed horse race tracks outside of this state.

To read the bill, click here.

To follow the bill as it makes its way through the Capitol, click here.

UPDATE: A similar bill is making its way through the State House of Representatives regarding Michigan’s breeder’s award program. Here is the language that would be changed in HB 4784…

If, during a fiscal year, live Thoroughbred horse races are not conducted at a licensed race meeting in this state, a sum shall be appropriated under this subdivision to pay breeders’ awards, in amounts not to exceed 10%  of the gross purses, to the breeders of Michigan bred Thoroughbred horses that win at races conducted at licensed horse racetracks outside of this state.

The bill, introduced last Thursday by Rep. Cindy Denby, was read for a first time and referred to the House Committee on Appropriations.

To read the bill’s language, click here.

To track the bill as it makes its way through Lansing, click here.

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Michigan Gaming Control Board issues purse pool executive orders

The Michigan Gaming Control Board issued a pair of executive orders Friday addressing the status of the state’s Thoroughbred simulcast purse pool while a live meet still hangs in the balance for 2011.

The orders freeze distributions from the Thoroughbred simulcast purse pool account and place the funds in escrow until a Thoroughbred race meeting license is issued.

Gaming Board executive director Richard Kalm also issued a series of comments and reiterations in the same document to discuss the current state of the purse pool, who controls it and exactly how the funds are supposed to be used according to the Michigan Horse Racing Act of 1995.

Among the key points stated by Kalm in the order, he noted that, “at this time, excluding a mixed breed race meeting licensee, there is no race meeting licensee in the State of Michigan approved to conduct a full schedule of  thoroughbred horse racing.”

The mixed breed licensee referred to in the above statement is Mount Pleasant Meadows in central Michigan. Whether or not the state’s three harness tracks can apply for the Thoroughbred meet in the future was not clearly stated in the document.

Kalm also pointed out that the purse pool money is to be used solely for purses and administrative costs. Unauthorized use of the monies, including operating expenses, loans and obligations to maintain a race meeting, would be met with stiff penalties.

To read the Gaming Control Board’s executive orders, click here.

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Pinnacle lowers exotic takeouts

In an email sent out June 3, it was revealed that Pinnacle Race Course will enter its 2010 meet with lower takeouts on exotic wagers.

From the email…

Win, Place, and Show are set by the State at 17%.  All other pools are by track choice.  We have lowered all our other offerings to 20% except Trifectas and Superfectas which have lowered to 25%.

“Takeout” is the portion of money in the final betting pools taken by the track prior to payouts. This is the chief source of revenue for pari-mutuel racetracks, especially those without casino gaming. The lower the takeout, the higher percentage of the betting pools goes back to horseplayers.

The email further elaborates that the move was made in response to the Horseplayers Association of North America, who ranked Pinnacle #68 out of 69 tracks listed in its 2010 track ratings. The HANA track ratings compare North American racetracks by takeout, field size, variety of wagers and the average size of the track’s betting pools.

In 2009, Pinnacle’s takeout for all exotic wagers was set at 27%, except for the daily double’s 20% commission. Among those listed in HANA’s track ratings, Pinnacle skimmed the highest percentage for exacta wagers, and was among the highest in all other exotics but the daily double. The announced changes would place the track in the middle or among the lowest takeouts in every exotic category.

The Michigan Horse Racing Act of 1995 does not include guidelines for minimum takeouts, except for straight win, place and show wagers, which are set at a flat rate of 17%. However, the act does set a ceiling on all other wagers at 28% without written permission of the racing commissioner, and up to 35% with the commissioner’s blessing.

Pinnacle opens its 2010 meet on Saturday, June 5 and will host live racing on Saturdays, Sundays and Labor Day Monday through October 31.

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