Skip to main content

Northville Downs’ race meeting begins April 7 as Michigan marks 90th anniversary of pari-mutuel wagering in 2023

Detroit, April 3, 2023 – Northville Downs will open its 52-date live race meeting at 7 p.m. Friday, April 7, as the horse racing industry in 2023 marks the 90th anniversary of pari-mutuel wagering in Michigan.

“Horse racing was the first form of legal gambling in Michigan, and the first licensed, pari-mutuel race was held Sept. 2, 1933, at the former State Fairgrounds in Detroit,” said Henry Williams, Michigan Gaming Control Board executive director. “Northville Downs and the Michigan Harness Horsemen’s Association will continue Michigan’s live horse racing tradition during 2023. I wish them a successful season and congratulate the horse racing industry on its accomplishments over 90 years of pari-mutuel wagering in the state.”

The 2023 race meeting will run on Fridays and Saturdays through Sept. 30, and post time is 7 p.m. Each race date must offer no fewer than eight and no more than 16 live horse races per race day. The 2023 schedule will include 10 fewer dates than in 2022.

Northville Downs also continues to simulcast races to and from the track and may offer pari-mutuel wagering on simulcast races except on April 9, Nov. 23, Dec. 24 and Dec. 25.

Pari-mutuel wagering initially was authorized under Public Act 199 of 1933. Under the Horse Racing Law of 1995, Michigan taxes simulcast wagering at 3.5% but does not tax wagering on live races.


"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.

Media Contact: