Vaupel: Michigan’s ‘chomping at the bit’ to modernize gaming industry

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State Rep. Hank Vaupel

The state House today gave final legislative approval to the plan of state Rep. Hank Vaupel, R-Fowlerville, allowing people to use updated technologies for wagering on horse racing, further helping the state’s agricultural industry.

The overwhelming, bipartisan vote brings Michigan one step closer to updating the way gaming is conducted and regulated statewide.

Michigan racetracks currently do not utilize technologies such as advance deposit wagering, which allows people to place pari-mutuel wagers online. While these types of wagers are already happening statewide, only out-of-state businesses are operating the sites – with no revenue coming into Michigan and no regulatory framework in place. This negatively impacts the state’s racing community and agriculture industry financially.

Vaupel said his plan would give horse racing enthusiasts the opportunity to utilize new technology to place the same types of wagers currently allowed in person at tracks where live racing is held.

“Michigan’s chomping at the bit to modernize its gaming industry,” said Vaupel. “With technology controlling the flow of how wagering is conducted, Michigan needs a regulatory structure in place to be more attuned with an evolving horse racing industry. This is about keeping our horse racing industry relevant and more revenue made on wagering here in Michigan. It’s time we put our state back on the right track.”

Michigan’s horse racing industry supports more than 12,000 jobs and contributes nearly $1 billion to the state economy each year. In addition, revenue generated through horse racing provides financial support to numerous county fairs statewide.

Vapuel said the plan will directly result in more involvement in the sport and increased agricultural activity that supports the horse racing industry as a whole.

Vaupel’s plan, House Bill 4310, will soon head to Gov. Whitmer for her signature.

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