We’re seeing lots of legal changes in the world of Michigan horse racing. We’ve got the information you need to start betting on horses in Michigan online!
Horse Race Tracks in Michigan
There is a long history associated with Michigan horse racing. MI horse racing was the only legal form of gambling until the late 70s when the state decided to establish a lottery system.
Ballot Proposal E in 1996 allowed for a limited number of casinos to operate within Michigan state lines. As a result of this, the popularity of horse racing in Michigan began to decline in the 90s, until the last thoroughbred horse race tracks in Michigan closed in the 2010s.
Granted, you can still find horse race tracks in Michigan but only harness racing. Any live or simulcast thoroughbred racing doesn’t seem to be coming back to Michigan just yet.
Sports Creek Raceway in Swartz Creek, MI was slated to offer live and simulcast thoroughbred racing in 2019 but pulled out of the deal in January.
Likewise, AmRace & Sports LLC will reapply in August 2019 under the new Michigan governor. So there’s a possibility that we’ll see live thoroughbred racing in Michigan in 2020.
However, you can still watch live harness racing at Northville Downs. Plus, you can bet on all of your favorite races online with BetAmerica.
Parimutuel Betting in Michigan
Parimutuel betting in Michigan was not officially defined until 2016 with Public Act 271. As commonly understood, pari-mutuel betting is a system of bets where there is no “house”. Instead, winnings and commissions are taken directly from a pool of all money wagered on races.
What this means for Michigan horse racing betting is that purses stay with the track. This allows for easier financial handling and better odds payouts for a player.
For example, in a typical casino, roulette odds are fixed. The maximum payout you can expect playing roulette is 35 to 1. However, if you’re betting on horse racing in Michigan and choosing a super exotic bet like a Pick 6, your payout could be very high, even into six-and-seven-figures.
Remember, the 2019 Kentucky Derby upset, Country House paid out odds of 65 to 1!
Though in decline, there is still a demand for thoroughbred racing in Michigan. Unfortunately, though, there are no thoroughbred tracks currently open.
Parimutuel betting allows Michigan bettors to bet on thoroughbred horse racing by simulcast legally and safely. According to Michigan and federal laws, money related to gambling has to stay within the state. So, pari-mutuel betting in Michigan allows for race tracks to offer simulcast betting without violating state or federal laws.
In addition, provisions in the MI Horse Racing Act of 1995 require tracks to offer live racing a certain number of days per year. This is to prevent a location from becoming solely an off-track-betting location.
Types of Michigan Horse Racing Betting
To give you a complete overview of how to bet on horses, we’ll first cover the three types of normal bets. Then, we’ll run through the different exotic bets available.
Win, Place, Show
Win bets are simply put, choosing the horse you expect to win. Likewise, a Place bet means choosing the horse you expect to come in first or second place. With Show bets, known as the titular Win-Place-Show bets, you bet on a horse coming in first, second, or third.
An exacta bet requires you to pick the first and second-place horses in the correct order.
A trifecta bet on MI horse racing requires you to pick the first, second, and third-place horses in the correct order. Payouts can be extremely high with this type of bet.
A superfecta bet requires you to pick the first, second, third, and fourth place horses in the correct order. Again, extremely high payouts with this kind of “super-exotic” horse racing bet.
A quinella requires you to pick the first and second-place horses in one race in any order.
A Pick 3 requires you to correctly pick the first-place horse in three consecutive races. There are also Pick 4, 5, and 6 bets with corresponding requirements for winning. This is another of the “super-exotic” bet types. They're longshots but pay out big if you're lucky.
Best Tracks To Bet On Michigan Horse Racing
Michigan Horse Racing betting is in a period of decline due to changing laws and general public interest. That being said, however, there is one place where you can go to get the full thrill of live horse racing in Michigan: Northville Downs.
Northville offers 44 days of harness racing a year. This is a definite decline since the heyday of Michigan horse racing in the late 80s. However, there is evidence that thoroughbred tracks are coming back to Michigan in the near future.
Still, Northville is a good place to break out the big hats and mint juleps for a bit of excitement.
See a calendar of horse racing events to find out which are the biggest races coming soon.
Michigan Online Horse Betting
As of right now, there is only one website offering Michigan horse betting via apps and online, and that’s BetAmerica.
BetAmerica is a nationwide operator conducting business in most US states. Overall, you are not legally allowed to gamble across state lines. However, simulcasting and pari-mutuel betting is legal. This permits BetAmerica to allow online, off-track simulcast betting.
Remember, MI betting is only allowed for Michigan residents over the age of 18.
Horse Race Betting with BetAmerica
You can bet on all of your favorite races on BetAmerica, including the Preakness, the Kentucky Derby, and thoroughbred racing simulcasted all across America. In addition, you’ll find harness racing, thoroughbred racing, greyhound racing, and more!
Perhaps the best part about using BetAmerica is the app. If you’re 18+ and within Michigan state lines, you can download and play the BetAmerica app on your iOS device.
As of this writing, there’s no app support for Android devices. Hopefully, that will change as state and national trends change.
The Future of Michigan Online Horse Betting
Michigan is one of the trickiest states to keep track of the legality of online gambling. The laws change a lot! Plus, new House and Senate bills are being proposed on a yearly basis.
Also, the recent shift from Republican Rick Snyder to Democrat Gretchen Whitmer means we’ll see a lot of changes with regards to legal Michigan Online Horse Racing. This is because Whitmer is reportedly pro-sports betting.
In addition, AmRace & Sports LLC plans on reapplying for a license to start offering live thoroughbred racing in Michigan once again. Likewise, there’s a heavy indication that their license will be granted.
If that comes through, it’s only a matter of time before thoroughbred racing goes live and online in Michigan.
Michigan is not the easiest place to find ways to gamble on your favorite races online. But the tide is changing both locally and nationally. The recently overturned PASPA has led to numerous states scrambling to legalize online gambling.
Most likely, Michigan will be no different. Legislators on both sides of the aisle agree that legalized and regulated online gambling is a good thing for everyone.
Fingers crossed, we expect to see a roll-out and expansion of online Michigan horse racing betting by 2020. Check back with us for the latest in news and the best promotions when you’re betting in Michigan!