Friday, May 2, 2008

Michigan Horse Racing Industry Files Suit Against Michigan

In another lawsuit involving the horse racing industry, the Detroit News reports that several horse racing interests in Michigan have sued the state claiming that competition from the state lottery and casinos are killing their industry. In other words, other gambling businesses are bad for their gambling business. They also claim that restrictions passed into law by ballot initiative are not fair because it hurts them, but not casinos.

The horse racing industry has taken a big hit in wagering in the 10 years since casinos opened up in the state - from $474 million in 1997 to $261 million last year. With the closing of Great Lakes Downs last year, there isn't a thouroughbred race track operative in the state. However, there are plans for a new thoroughbred track in the Detroit metro area. There are still harness racing tracks operating.

To get new gaming approved, both a state and local referendum are required. Casinos apparently are exempt from these barriers to entry. The racing industry may have a point, but horse betting has been declining for years and the ballot initiative only passed in 2004. There are likely some structural competitive deficiencies or change in consumer gambling preferences that won't be cured by a successful lawsuit.

Add to Technorati Favorites

No comments: