Northville Downs Opens Saturday for Michigan Sports Betting on Horses

Northville Downs Opens Saturday for Michigan Sports Betting on Horses
By Bill Ordine
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

The arrival of warm weather means that Michigan’s only operating horse racing track will be offering live action again starting April 7, offering another Michigan sports betting option in the pari-mutuel realm.

Northville Downs, a harness track located about 30 miles west of Detroit, will open its 52-date session on Friday, April 7, and continue through Sept. 30. Races are scheduled every Friday and Saturday. Post time is 7 p.m.

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State Marks 90 Years of Pari-Mutuel Betting

This year marks the 90th anniversary of pari-mutuel wagering in Michigan. The first licensed pari-mutuel race was held in Michigan on Sept. 2, 1933, and it marked the beginning of legalized gambling in the state.

Since then, Michigan’s gambling landscape has blossomed with traditional commercial casinos in Detroit as well as tribal casinos located throughout the state.

Plus, in recent years, the state has added sports gambling, both retail and mobile. And online casino Michigan options give gamblers the ability to play slots, table games and live poker on computers and mobile devices.

Michigan Gaming Market Overview

Michigan is just one of six states with full iGaming available to state residents.

Of course, the state also has the lottery in addition to those sport wagering, in-person casino and Michigan mobile casinos.

Henry Williams, Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director, reflected on horse racing’s historic role in the legalized gambling story.

“Northville Downs and the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association will continue Michigan’s live horse racing tradition during 2023,” Williams said in a news release. “I wish them a successful season and congratulate the horse racing industry on its accomplishments over 90 years of pari-mutuel wagering in the state.”

Each Date Has At Least Eight Races

Each race date must offer no fewer than eight live races and no more than 16 each race day, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board.

In addition to wagering on live racing, Northville Downs also continues to offer simulcast races to and from the track. There is no simulcast wagering available on April 9, Nov. 23, Dec. 24, and Dec. 25. See the full race schedule from the MGCB here.

Dining is available at the track at the Trotside Restaurant where there is seating for more than 250 guests.

Check out the best Michigan casino promotions available for online players at GreatLakesStakes.



A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade.

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