The Detroit Free Press reports the two casino expansion proposals targeting this fall’s election have both failed in the petition stage.
Had the “Racing To Save Michigan” and “Michigan Is Yours” proposals both obtained the 380,196 signatures required to appear on the ballot, Michigan voters would have had the option to add up to a combined 15 new casinos to the state’s 23 already existing operations, with one more under construction. The deadline for signatures passed on July 5.
The “Racing To Save Michigan” plan, drawn up by Hazel Park Harness Raceway CEO Dan Adkins, suggested the addition of up to eight casinos in locations across the state. Five would have been located at the state’s pari-mutuel racetracks: Hazel Park, Pinnacle Race Course in New Boston, Mount Pleasant Meadows, Northville Downs and Sports Creek Raceway in Swartz Creek. The additional three licenses would have been auctioned off by the state government. This proposal was met with skepticism by many in Michigan’s horse racing industry due to its lack of guaranteed provisions for the state’s racing programs.
The “Michigan Is Yours” proposal called for seven new casinos in Benton Harbor, Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Muskegon, Romulus and the Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Had it passed, the proposal would have also legalized sports betting at the state’s casinos. The “Michigan Is Yours” campaign was co-chaired by Benton Harbor mayor Wilce Cook.
For a detailed breakdown of how the money generated by each proposal would have been distributed to the State of Michigan and other sources, click here.
Both proposals faced opposition from the group Protect MI Vote, which includes state congressmen and women, values-based groups, casino-owning Native American tribes and interests representing the three non-tribal casinos in Detroit.