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Michigan Bill Tackles Purse Percentages

Published: November 9, 2015 4:48 pm ET

Last Comment: November 10, 2015 9:30 am ET | 1 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

Senate Bill 504, a piece of legislation that has been introduced in Michigan, has spurred representatives from the state’s Standardbred and Thoroughbred industries to discuss each breed’s allotment of monies from the purse-pool fund.

A report on the matter by Crain’s Detroit Business explains that the legislation requires 100 per cent of money wagered on Standardbred and Thoroughbred races, respectively, to stay with each specific breed for purses the following year.

The article states that the spilt, in terms of percentages, is currently 60-40 in favour of Standardbred purses. Michigan Horsemen's Benevolent & Protective Association President George Kutlenios is questioning if the 60-40 split is fair in today’s day and age, seeing as though multiple tracks in the state have closed since the deal was initially constructed.

The report highlights how the Michigan racing industry has been on a downward trend in recent years and that wagering has followed right along with it.

The article concludes by quoting Northville Downs’ operations manager, Mike Carlo.

"At the end of the day, if we just change the law so that everybody's going to get a different percentage of the existing pot, I'm not interested in even being a part of it because that's a waste of time," Carlo was quoted as saying. "Until we find a way to generate more revenue in the state of Michigan on horse racing, it's a futile attempt at saying we have a future. We have a future when we have more revenue coming in."

(With files from Crain’s Detroit Business)

November 10, 2015 - 9:30 amThis legislation was

This legislation was introduce without the support of the Michigan Standardbred industry. The bill also calls for there to be 50 days of live Thoroughbred racing in order for any track to be allowed to offer simulcasting and creates a mechanisms for the tracks to operate solely as off-track wagering facilities in the event that the horsemen are unable to complete their meet due to lack of purse funds, horse supply, etc. It is very clear this bill is not in the best interest of all Michigan horsemen and without the support of the whole industry, changes will be very unlikely.

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