The Michigan Gaming News Letter

MGCB Authorizes 2022 Live Racing and Simulcast Wagering at Northville Downs

In an Executive Order issued October 27, 2021, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) granted Northville Downs authorization to host races and simulcast those races in 2022. The racecourse was permitted to offer 62 Standardbred race dates on Fridays and Saturdays throughout 2022. The race dates will be split into two sessions: the first begins on March 11, 2022, and ends on June 25, 2022; while the second begins on September 9, 2022, and ends on December 17, 2022. MGCB also authorized Northville Downs to offer pari-mutuel wagering on simulcast races. Wagering will be available on all races throughout 2022 except those on April 17, November 24, December 24, and December 25. In a press release, MGCB Executive Director Henry Williams lauded that “[h]orse racing fans can look forward to another year of live racing at Northville Downs, which has been a Michigan tradition since 1944.” The 2022 racing season will follow the current 2021 live racing season, which concludes on December 18, 2021.

Michigan Gaming Control Board Makes $40.5 Million ‘Hold Harmless’ Payment to City of Detroit from Internet Gaming Taxes

According to a press release, the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) issued the City of Detroit a $40.5 million “hold harmless” payment drawn from the state’s Internet Gaming Fund. The Internet Gaming Fund is supported by internet casino gaming taxes. The payment is required under Michigan law to reimburse the city for wagering tax revenue drop experienced during its 2021 fiscal year. The payment required by statute was made earlier this month. “A provision in the 2019 Lawful Internet Gaming Act calls for a ‘hold harmless’ payment to the city if wagering tax revenue drops below the statutory minimum of $183 million for any reason during the preceding city fiscal year,” said Henry Williams, MGCB executive director. “The Detroit casinos experienced a revenue drop during 2020 and early 2021 because of COVID-19- related shutdowns and capacity limits, which reduced wagering tax and development agreement payments,” he said. “Wagering taxes from internet casino gaming and online sports betting did not begin until both gaming forms launched on Jan. 22. This was about seven months into the city’s fiscal year, which ended June 30. The provision took effect because of an unusual set of circumstances caused by the casinos’ closings and reduced capacity due to COVID-19 health concerns.”

Caesars Windsor Reopens Showroom and Increases Capacity

According to a report in The Windsor Star, this week Caesars Windsor announced that it will be reopening its showroom theater, The Colosseum, on December 11, with a concert by rock group REO Speedwagon. The theater, which holds 5,000 people, closed in March 2020 as a result of the pandemic. The announced reopening comes shortly after the Ontario government previously announced that it was easing capacity restrictions at casinos. In a news release, Kevin Laforet, President of Caesars Windsor, said he and his organization are ecstatic about the announcement. “There is nothing like the feeling and energy of a live music experience,” he stated. Caesars Windsor plans to continue to follow municipal, provincial and federal health guidelines and recommendations and is requiring all guests to be fully vaccinated (plus 14 days) and to provide proof of such vaccination.