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Judge Dismisses Harness Horsemen's Association Lawsuit Against Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director
December 19, 2014
Detroit -- A lawsuit challenging the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) executive director’s authority to issue amended orders for horse racing meet dates was dismissed this week by Ingham County Circuit Court Judge Rosemarie Aquilina.
“The race meeting dates decisions are made in the best interests of horse racing,” said Richard Kalm, executive director, MGCB. “The order was amended to permit thoroughbred racing. It created more opportunities for racing enthusiasts to enjoy horse racing in Michigan this year.”
The Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association (MHHA) filed suit in February challenging the MGCB executive director’s authority to amend the 2014 horse racing meet order. In January, the 2014 season order was amended after two race tracks submitted changes in their plans to the MGCB executive director’s staff. The changes allowed the tracks to bring thoroughbred racing to the Detroit area.
“The judge’s ruling holds that the state’s Horse Racing Act gives me as the MGCB executive director discretion to issue race meeting licenses,” Kalm said. “Our goal is to make things work as best we can for everyone.”
In its lawsuit, the MHHA also challenged the MGCB executive director regarding the race tracks’ starter fee request, claiming it violated the Horse Racing Act and Rules.
“The starter fee is a contractual agreement between the MHHA and the race track owners in which the MGCB executive director is not involved,” Kalm said. "The Michigan Gaming Control Board shall ensure the conduct of fair and honest gaming to protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Michigan."
"The Michigan Gaming Control Board shall ensure the conduct of fair and honest gaming to protect the interests of the citizens of the State of Michigan."