NYRAbets Approved to Join Michigan Horse Race Betting Market

NYRAbets Approved to Join Michigan Horse Race Betting Market
By Bill Ordine

Michigan horse players have another option for following and betting on the ponies as the New York Racing Association’s online arm, known as NYRAbets, has been granted a provisional license to operate in Michigan.

The wagering process will be familiar to Michigan horse racing fans with customers making advance deposits to an account so they can wager on pari-mutuel horse races, both live and simulcast. NYRAbets will operate in Michigan under an order issued Oct. 15 by Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Henry Williams.

NYRABets joins other major online horse racing wagering operations already in Michigan, including Xpress Bet (The Stronach Group), TVG Network and TwinSpires/Churchill Downs, all of whom reached third-party facilitator agreements with Northville Downs, currently Michigan’s only licensed racetrack. Such an agreement is necessary in Michigan, and NYRAbets has filed an application for its third-party facilitator license.

“Michigan horse racing fans now have another option for using mobile wagering to place bets from anywhere in the state on horse races,” MGCB’s Williams said in a news release.

The New York Racing Association, parent of NYRAbets, operates the three largest thoroughbred horse racing tracks in New York State — Aqueduct Racetrack, Belmont Park, home of the Belmont Stakes, and Saratoga Race Course.

In Michigan gambling, horse racing wagering companies now can operate as a result of a recent amendment to the state’s Horse Racing Law of 1995. That change allows a race meeting licensee (such as the NYRA) to use contracted third-party firms (known as a third-party facilitator) to offer the betting on races.


Mobile Horse Racing Betting

The Michigan Gaming Control Board approved mobile wagering on horse races in June 2020. The NYRAbets license is valid until Dec. 31, 2022, unless NYRAbets fails to maintain its contract or other regulatory changes occur.

Adding the NYRA online subsidiary to its suite of online gambling offerings enhances Michigan’s standing as one of the most progressive states in the country when it comes to online betting.

Michigan online casino play, often called iGaming, online/mobile sports wagering and internet poker are offered in the state. That’s in addition to the opportunities residents have to enjoy Michigan land-based casinos (where there are retail sportsbooks) and an array of lottery games.

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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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