Legislative Efforts

The Legislature is currently on summer recess until September and the MHHA is still pushing hard for several pieces of legislation that would help grow horse racing in Michigan. 

The House of Representatives has yet to take action on SB 396, which would authorize the use of up to 1500 historical horse racing terminals at licensed racetracks. The terminals look similar to slot machines but are based on pari-mutuel wagers of previously run horse races. The legislation would create a new revenue opportunity both for licensed racetracks and certified horsemen’s organizations like the MHHA. The passage of this law would directly lead to the creation of new racetracks in Michigan for the first time in several decades and guarantee more live race days and higher purses. 

The Senate also has several bills sitting on the Chamber floor. HB 4599 and HB 4600 make various changes to the Agricultural Equine Industry Development Fund (AEIDF) disbursement formula including raising the cap on breeders awards to up to 20% and lifting the cap on overnight purses at county fairs. While these bills do not add new revenue to the AEIDF they are necessary changes that have a real impact when paired with other legislation that adds much-needed revenue. Additionally, HB 4823 and HB 4824 are also sitting on the Senate floor and those bills lift the 3 million dollar cap on deposits to the AEIDF from internet gaming and sports betting. Under current law, the AEIDF receives 5% of the total tax revenue from those online gaming options, but the law caps the total deposit to the AEIDF at 3 million dollars. The MHHA estimates, conservatively, that lifting the cap would mean roughly 5 million more dollars in the AEIDF for breeders awards, summer fair programs, and purses at Northville Downs for MI owned and bred horses.

The Casinos are opposing us at every turn telling lawmakers, that horse racing is dying because there is no interest in the sport, telling them we have enough money purses already, and telling them that this is an unconstitutional form of gaming despite the fact that casinos are making hundreds of millions of dollars on their new internet casinos. The Casinos tried to kill horse racing 20 years ago, don't let them win. 

Right now, We Need Your HelpWe need you to Contact Your Legislators. While our team works to connect with legislators on your behalf every day in Lansing, nothing is more powerful than a phone call or a letter from a voter in their district. 

Using the links below you can find your local Representative and local Senator and either call them or write them to let them know We need lawmakers to stand up for horse racing and Michigan agriculture and vote for SB 396 to save horse racing in Michigan.

Find your Senator by District Link

Find your Representative by District Link

Remember to be respectful, let them know about your experiences personally, and talk about the impact of harness racing on the economy and what it means for agriculture in the state.


The Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association works hard to follow any legislation of interest and works with the Michigan Legislature, Michigan Department of Agriculture, and Michigan Gaming Control Board to help promote and grow harness racing in Michigan.

You Can Help By Donating To The MHHA PAC And By Contacting Your Local Legislators

As the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association works to promote conditions favorable to the harness racing industry, we recognize that it starts with those who we elect to serve in office.  MHHA’s PAC is utilized to have an impact on elections in Michigan and that is why it is critical to have a successful PAC and be involved, not only for the success of Michigan Harness Horsemen but for the entire industry and our agriculture partners. Michigan Harness Horsemen’s PAC’s success is dependent on member involvement.