Gov. Jennifer Granholm Considering Slot Machines for Horse Racing Track

On May 29, 2007, Michigan Governor Jennifer Granholm is considering whether to allow 3 Michigan based horse racing tracks to feature electronic slot machines that would allow their customers to place bets on previous races and current horse races.

The electronic slot machines called Horse Wizard and manufactured by Magna Entertainment from Toronto, Canada could produce as much as $50 million annually for Michigan through the 25% tax that would be imposed on all bets.

Michigan is having problems with their budget deficit and is looking for ways to generate more money for the state coffers.

A state constitutional amendment, overwhelmingly passed by the state voters in 2004, bans any new player operated gaming electronic machines and any other form of gambling without a statewide vote.

The operators and managers of horse racing tracks commented that the Horse Wizard machines, although resembling slot machines, are entirely legal. But critics of the slot machines say that they generally violate the main idea behind the law.

If Governor Jennifer Granholm pushes on with the plans, lawsuits could be filed which would take months or years to solve. It has been common practice by many states to allow horse racing tracks to host slot machines to help them attract more customers and revive the dying interest in the horse racing industry.

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