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Northville Downs to begin 2020 pari-mutuel racing season Aug. 14 with reduced capacity, strict health and safety measures

Detroit, August 14, 2020Northville Downs will offer live standardbred races starting Friday, Aug. 14, and on 17 other Fridays and Saturdays through Oct. 10 under an order issued by Michigan Gaming Control Board Executive Director Richard S. Kalm. Pari-mutuel racing was authorized to resume at the track under Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s Executive Order 2020-160.

Under the MGCB order, the track must limit capacity of the grandstand, bar and restaurant area to no more than 896 persons — an 85 percent reduction — by removing more than 100 tables, 500 chairs and 200 televisions.

“Fans can bet on races at Northville Downs or on out-of-state races through simulcast wagering,” Kalm said.  “If you wish to stay home, you now may use your mobile device to make wagers on live and simulcast pari-mutuel races through Northville Downs’ third-party provider, TVG Network. Other third-party providers may be available soon.”

The track will reopen with workplace safety measures in place as outlined in Executive Order 2020-161. Other public health and safety measures required under the MGCB order include:

  • Face masks are to be worn by all
  • Social distancing (e.g., floor markings to maintain six feet of distance between patrons in lines and queues and plastic glass shields to separate guests from teller and customer service employees)
  • Health screenings with temperature checks for all who enter the track
  • Enhanced cleaning and sanitizing protocols and hand sanitation stations inside and outside

“We’re requiring the track and the racing teams to limit personal interactions to what is required run a live race meeting safely,” Kalm said. “This level of care also must be extended to fans who visit the track.”

Live racing was scheduled to begin March 20, and 52 live race dates were planned for 2020.  Northville Downs was not allowed to begin live racing until mid-August because of the COVID-19 public health emergency. The MGCB approved advance deposit wagering in a June 26 order and granted a temporary license to third-party facilitator TVG Network on the same day.

"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."