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The future of Michigan's horse racing industry may rest with the governor

Steve Carmody/Michigan Radio

There are several bills passed by the Michigan legislature that are still sitting on the governor’s desk. One of them may hold the fate of Michigan’s horse racing industry.

By one estimate, Michigan’s horse racing industry has lost half its jobs in the past few years. The four tracks operating in Michigan are fighting a losing battle against two dozen casinos, multi-state lotteries and online gaming.

To help, the legislature passed a bill to expand wagering options and gives extra incentives to track owners and horse breeders to invest in Michigan.

Brett Boyd is with the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association.   He says without those incentives Michigan’s horse racing industry could dramatically decline in the next few years.

“But this legislation can certainly beef up our industry again…and keep those jobs here and even bring folks back to Michigan,” says Boyd.

Horse racing groups are asking their members to call the governor’s office to urge him to sign the bill.

On Friday, the governor said he would review the bill over the holidays.

Steve Carmody has been a reporter for Michigan Radio since 2005. Steve previously worked at public radio and television stations in Florida, Oklahoma and Kentucky, and also has extensive experience in commercial broadcasting.
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