After five months away, horse saddle racing has returned to Northville Downs.
The lone pari-mutuel horse racing track in the state of Michigan was able to open its doors once again last week. This gives Michigan sports bettors another option.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Northville Downs closed its doors in the middle of March.
New guidelines for bettors at Northville Downs
Located on Center St. in Northville, Northville Downs has live racing returning on Friday and Saturday nights, beginning at 7:30 p.m.
In addition, the track holds simulcast racing every day to go along with the weekend’s live racing. Doors open for simulcast racing at 11 a.m. daily.
Like all reopened businesses in the state, it has new safety guidelines to adhere to.
The facility can operate with 15% maximum capacity. According to the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB), that puts the limit at 896 people in the grandstands, bar and restaurant.
Along with capacity limits, Northville Downs also is including the following precautions:
- Temperature checks upon entering
- Masks or face coverings at all times
- Plexiglass partitions at most customer service areas
- Sanitizing stations
- Self-service machines limited to maintain social distancing
Betting options seven days a week
Northville Downs previously scheduled a 2020 start date of March 20 for live racing. The track had 52 race dates planned originally.
Now, the site will hold 17 live racing dates that run through Oct. 10.
Northville Downs owner Mike Carlo stated that the track lost out on $14 million in wagers since it was closed.
It hopes for a quick surge for wagers on its live racing. The track also has plenty of simulcast betting options.
Wagering can be made on mobile devices through TVG Network, a third-party provider owned by FanDuel Group in New York.
Northville Downs part of online betting expansion
Back in May, the MGCB issued an order allowing online wagering through its third-party provider. The order followed an amendment made in December to the Horse Racing Law of 1995.
The amendment allows for third-party companies to offer wagering on live and simulcast pari-mutuel racing.
Richard Kalm, executive director of the control board, stated:
“The order should enable the state’s horse racing industry to gain new followers through advance deposit wagering and maintain protection for citizens who wish to place wagers on live and simulcast pari-mutuel racing in Michigan using their mobile phones.”
Mobile sports betting and online casinos are expected to be regulated in late 2020 or early 2021.