Michigan Gaming Control Board: Eight days left

From the Michigan HBPA website

LIVE HORSE RACING DESTROYED: The Michigan Gaming and Control Board (MGCB) advised the Michigan horse racing industry that the additional 20% will only permit regulation of EIGHT (8) live race days for the remainder of the fiscal year ending September 30, 2010. The simple explanation was that the budget only allowed funding for 104 live race dates and 96 have been run including 11 at Pinnacle last October 2009. The current message does not even come close to that issued to the industry by MGCB in early March. MGCB has indicated that Pinnacle will only be regulated for 3 days during the balance of the fiscal year.

Attempts continue to bring some sanity to this issue, unfortunately, the industry has not had any significant support from the MGCB to determine how daily regulation increased from $4,300 per day to $5,923 in 2010. They gave us a bill and refuse to itemize it. At this point, any restored days will need to come from our diminishing purse pool. The current decision has taken away 62 race days or 95.4%. The cost to restore all 62 days @ $5,923 is $367,226.00 that will devastate our purse pool. The HBPA board is scheduled to meet Wed and continue to address the issue.


Nothing else has come out regarding this announcement, but if there is a shred of truth to it, something seems very illegal about this whole situation. The constant shell game of race dates to be regulated and the cost to make up the ones that have been dropped makes the powers that be appear as genuine as an 1850s sharecropper.

Keep an eye out for updates.

UPDATE: The actions of the Gaming Control Board and the rest of the Michigan state government could set a frightening precedent for jurisdictions in other states. Regular commenter on this site Pacingguy further elaborates on the issue on his blog, View From The Racetrack Grandstand. Definitely a recommended read.

The Daily Racing Form has also put up a story about Pinnacle’s potential three-day meet, which can be read here.


Filed under Pinnacle Race Course, Politics

15 responses to “Michigan Gaming Control Board: Eight days left

  1. BWT

    It appears that our esteemed governor has all the earmarks of being another Kwame K. Enough of the government stealing OUR OWN MONEY. Does this situation qualify for a class action lawsuit???

  2. Could it have something to do with the MCGB also regulating casinos?

  3. mibredclaimer

    It’s frustrating when someone on the middle of the totem pole does something like this, and there is no way to look to their superiors because they hate you just as much.

    I too have pondered if this purse money being siphoned off to fund the ORC would be better used to recruit a high-powered attorney. Clearly, we are not going to survive in the executive arena (MGCB, Gov. Granholm), so perhaps a change in venue to the judicial arena (State Supreme Court) is in order. I bet Geoffrey Fieger would take the case.

    It sure looks like that is a factor, whether anyone from within wants to admit it or not. The racing industry became something of a red-headed stepchild when the Governor, who clearly knows what’s best for the racing industry, placed it with the Gaming Board instead of the Dept. of Agriculture, which was ready and willing to take it on.

  4. I am beginning to think MI wants to adopt the CT model of pari-mutuel racing. Why run live racing when you can take the cheaper simulcast wagering without any expense to the state?

  5. a horse of a different color

    Would love to see Geoffrey Fieger take the case. It just may be the only fighting chance thoroughbred racing has.

  6. Rox

    I didn’t think monies designated for purses could be used for any other purpose. When Stronach wanted the 5% it had to go to the purse, then be returned to him. Unfortunately, the horsemen have always anteed up, and it’s well known that they will. They’ve set a standard that will be hard to change, and it might be too late.
    Other states are feeling the hit, as N Y has the OTB bankruptcy that is going to cause financial woes, and W V purses are not what they were.
    Racing needs to recreate a fan base, but how?

  7. ragman


    Racing needs to recreate a fan base, but how?
    In New Jersey this year there will no thoroughbreds at Meadowlands, Monmouth will have prime dates with less races for NJ-breds and higher purses for higher class horses with the hope that this will attract more bettors and greatly increase pool size, thus growing the sport(in NJ).

    Even if Michigan racing wasn’t being messed over with the purse money I have seen no sign that over the last two years that Pinnacle has made any strides in increasing the betting pools. Attracting more out-of-state horses would help. More distance races would help. When GLD was running I heard several bettors at Hazel Park refer to them as quarter horses. I know 4f races don’t thrill me.

    If Pinnacle is able to run this year they have to make an effort to get their signal out. I think maybe they should bring in an outsider to run the place.

  8. Joe I warned the HBPA through e-mails for the last 7 months NEVER EVER TRUST THE HARNESS PEOPLE.

    I said at the HBPA meeting in July. Screw Dan Adkins we don’t need this man. We should of have our own petition drawn up and submitted long before Adkins. Then the MHHA put on a pretty good act trying to so called be in sync with both the HBPA & MHHA drawing up one single common petition covering HORSE RACING provisions.

    Well that has changed. Brett Boyd ( who BTW I should sued for plagiarism ) put language in their petition that really would put us all to death. Because the Casino’s with the money they have to fight us would probably bury us. 6% taxing the Casino’s, Yeah Right. They’d stand for that. Thus MHHA has basically done an about face with the HBPA, like I said WARNED them about long ago.

    Our petition language specifies provisions for Industry’s both T.B. & Harness. And not giving Cason’s a free pass. But MHHA language goes beyond that.

    This group of people have put every roadblock in Thoroughbred’s way for DECADES. HBPA were told DO NOT TRUST THESE PEOPLE AS FAR AS YOU CAN SPIT.

    Well HBPA had a board meeting Wednesday night. And only NOW, are some screaming we should of never got involved or trusted the Harness people.

    GEE REALLY???? How many times do you have to slam your own head into concrete before you realize it hurts?

    Really sad part is this game that’s being played with both Adkins & MHHA. The MHHA don’t realize they are in essence cutting their own throats. Whatever they are being told by Adkins, they are buying it. And that will be the death to them. They are just too stupid to know it yet. They in reality like slamming their heads into concrete as well.

    I cannot elaborate anymore on that meeting, but I can tell you details change from one moment to the next. But there is something in the works to wake up Michigan. It will cost a lot of our HBPA $$$. But at this point and juncture we are at present attempting to focus of how to regain some of our dates. Literally going to have to spend $$$ to buy some back.

    Joe, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about in that Dept.

    Both HBPA & MHHA still awaiting their date in front of State Board of Canvassers. But not on same page with what was suppose to be a rock solid union in language. MHHA did an about face.

    I said long ago they were not to be trusted. HBPA should of known better. Now we’re basically out of TIME.

    Brett Boyd power point presentation that he has posted on MHHA site. WAS IDENTICAL TO A BLOG AND LETTER I WROTE TO THE MGCB IN OCT. of 09

    Down to every single detail of it. Our Rich 75 History, Revenue created. Every single thing I touched on right down to the last word.

    He just rearranged what I had already wrote.
    Nothing like having somebody else write something for you hey BRETT?

    This thing is more of a mess than all can imagine. But like I said stay tuned. It changes from second to second.

    This Governor of ours should have her neck wrung.

    And the MHHA are FOOLS, soon to be as dead as who they have been trying to stab in the backs for decades.


    You could of been our COMRADES instead you still choose to be our ADVERSARIES.


  9. BWT

    Ragman: Not sure how Pinnacle’s signal is picked up. I was told by their personel that if my IL relatives wanted to watch my horses run here, I should contract their racing commisioner to tell them to pay for the Pinnacle signal. That seems a little backward? Are there any other states that broadcast Pinnacle?
    Rox I was also under the impression that our purse money couldn’t be touched. Apparently our governor’s grabby little fingers have a very long reach. So, will the state be refunding my racing license fee, nomination payments, etc. if there is no live racing in MI? Not holding my breath on that one.

  10. Rox

    Seems a couple of tracks didn’t get paid for their signal by another track, so aren’t broadcasting that tracks races. OTB in N Y owes a few tracks a ton, also. How could bookies not make money?
    Dates are being reduced or purses made lighter around the country.What a shame.
    Good point about the Nomination fees. Does that go to the State or a seperate fund through the breeders?

  11. ragman

    Support your local thoroughbred track.
    Pinnacle open Sunday 12-8 featuring a ham buffet($7.99) and a all day breakfast buffet($4.99). Their food is always good.

    Simulcasting of Woodbine, Gulfstream, Sunland, Santa Anita, Golden State and Windsor.

  12. Hello from a harness racing fan. Unfortunately, it seems each breed looks out for their interest. I don’t know much about the Michigan VLT bill, so I can’t comment about it but in Iowa, the standardbred, thoroughbred, and quarterhorse people were all going to be united with regards to racing dates at Prairie Meadows. Then management went to the t-bred people and offered them more days at which point they told the other two breeds to basically take a hike, they were on their own.

    I wish all breeds would realize they are in this mess together. Once one breed goes, it is just a question as to when the next goes. As they say, “United We Stand, Divided We Fall”.

    If the MHHA is reneging on the t-breds, then shame on them.

  13. Longshot

    First of all this being Easter. May all have a very Blessed & Peaceful one.

    Pacing guy,

    That is exactly what the MHHA has indeed done to the T.B.’s and it makes no sense what so ever. There is a game being played here even a child can see. And I’ll tell you the main purpose and only reason that this is. That Pinnacle was built to begin with. These people rejoiced when DRC was bulldozed. They had wanted in essence then the T.B.s dead and gone. Well we weren’t dead but were completely out of their view having been on the western side of the state for 10 years. Thus in their eye’s NO THREAT.

    In 2008 the realization had once again set in that the THOROUGHBREDS were back. And this time going no where. So the strategizing began all over again. Of how they could do the most damage to us they could. Thus enters Hazel Park’s BOY, Dan Adkins. I never trusted this man and if I had been on the HBPA board would of grabbed this man by his scrawny little throat and blasted my words in his face. That HE wasn’t running any show and the reality was WE DID NOT NEED HIM.

    HBPA wanted to play nice, for God’s sake I still don’t have any Idea of why? Since horse racing in this state began the Harness group did every single thing they could to be a giant obstacle & Road block for the Thoroughbreds. Anything, even some tiny little detail that would screw with us. And they LOVED every single moment of it.

    But right now it is Hazel Park their own entity trying to establish and get passed a petition that would in essence not just kill us off but them as well. So they decided that they themselves would align themselves with the HBPA on the exact language that would be displayed on the horsemen’s petition. Both Harness & T.B. s

    Out of a clear blue sky, 3 weeks ago Brett Boyd come from left field to say they’ve added language that no way either of the Horsemen’s group could fight financially against the Casino’s. MHHA petition now includes language about taxing the casino’s 6%. Something that the HBPA did not even want to touch within a petition put forth. Our main objective here was to cover all the horseman’s provisions with Purse Revenues, Contractual agreements, Simulcasting and the biggest part PROTECT LIVE RACING. And of course not let the casino’s get a free pass in all of this.

    Now MHHA basically on their own did something I said we should of done back in the Summer of 09, draw up our own petition to submit. We didn’t need either Adkins or Harness group to put forth a petition. But it was the MHHA that said WAIT. Let’s get together on this and we’ll draw up one together covering our provisions and concerns that Adkins purposely left out.

    What does the MHHA do, say screw the HBPA and put some language in their petition from left field that makes no sense to anyone. Our focus is protecting LIVE RACING along with what is connected to it.

    Personally I think this was the Harness plans to being with. In fact I always believed they were from the beginning in align with Adkins. And why you say. Because Adkins is promising something to the Harness they are to stupid themselves to realize. Adkins, Hazel Park hell even NVD ( which has been very silent through all this ) would like nothing more to have a betting parlor & slots like Ladbroke wanted.

    Harness is going to get a wake up call they never anticipated because they are fools. Stupid idiotic fools. I said to the HBPA either these people will be with us because they know they are about to be as dead as us. Or something else would of made them think different. But whatever they think it is it is going to back fire on them because the same about face as they’ve now done to the HBPA, will also be done to them. They are just too stupid to realize it yet.

    My anger isn’t with the harness, it’s with the HBPA. Because ALL should of known better from the start. Why would the very same group that has fought us on everything since the beginning of time start placing nice now?

    This was all just too plain to see. What’s wrong with the HBPA is beyond me.

    Both Adkins & MHHA figure the time has ran out. But not so fast BOYS. We still have a date in front of the State Board of Canvassers. And I suggest that the HBPA don’t show up empty handed.

    This fight isn’t over yet. But the HBPA had better start getting some testicles. Playing nice has never got anybody anything. My sleeves would of been rolled up long ago and the hell with the boxing gloves. The punches hurt more with just plain bare fists.

    And Quarter horses were brought up. Won’t elaborate on this blog, but that issue remains very much alive.

  14. BWT

    Seriously, I would like to see MTOBA contact adjoining states regarding running MI bred races at out of state tracks. We are dealing with a hostile government, why waste precious time, energy, and money fighting them?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s