Michigan is Yours – While Horse Racing Dies

Once again there is a petition drive to gather 322,000 signatures to build 7 more Casinos throughout Michigan. The latest proposal headed once again by Billy Sims whose last proposal failed to get the signatures. 

The  “Michigan is Yours Ballot Proposition” 

Financial backers include Morris Day of the 1980s R&B group the Time and Detroit Pistons announcer John Mason, said Anthony Gray, fellow investor, businessman and retired pilot who grew up in Romulus but lives in Florida.

The group wants to build casinos in Detroit, Romulus, Mount Clemens, Lansing, Saginaw, Grand Rapids and Benton Harbor.  And wants them to be operated by a company called C-My-Casino of Warren.

The proposal features some bold ideas, such as making sports betting legal at casinos — including the three existing ones in Detroit and all of the State’s Indian casinos.


Group to launch new bid to add casinos in Michigan

Measure would need 322,000 signatures to go before voters

Mike Wilkinson / The Detroit News

A group that failed to put a gambling initiative on the ballot last year intends to try again in hopes of building seven new casinos in Michigan, including ones in Detroit, Romulus and Mount Clemens.

The group hopes to launch a six-month effort to get the roughly 322,000 valid signatures needed to put the measure before Michigan voters, possibly in November 2012, said Tony Gray, a Romulus developer.

Gray acknowledges that opponents will include the existing casino companies and others who want to halt the spread of gambling. But he said the proposal would bring jobs and revenue to communities across the state.

A press conference is scheduled this afternoon for the “Michigan is Yours Ballot Proposition” in Romulus that will include Mayor Alan Lambert, pop music icon Morris Day and others.

The group wants to build casinos in Detroit, Romulus, Mount Clemens, Lansing, Saginaw, Grand Rapids and Benton Harbor.

Last year, the group announced plans in April to seek petitions. However, it never submitted them to the secretary of state and the issue did not appear on the ballot. Gray said they could not get enough signatures.

That effort was part of a plan by former Detroit gaming commissioner Frank Stella, who has since died, to authorize casinos in Detroit, Flint, Lansing, Benton Harbor, Muskegon, Port Huron and at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, as well as introducing sports betting for all new casinos.

The current proposal does not include sports betting.

Gray said the proposed site in Romulus is not at the airport, but is on commercial land nearby.

mwilkinson@detnews.com (313) 222-2563



More Casinos while the State Of Michigan allows Horse Racing to die. At the beginning from 1933 when pari-mutual betting it was signed into law, it was Horse Racing alone that generated $400,000 Million to Michigan every year. Long before we heard of the word Lottery here in 1972, then Casinos ( Tribunal in 1988 ) and Detroit in 1996.

Yet Michigan has thrown an Industry that still has over 12,000 ( at one time 42,000 ) jobs directly and indirectly connected to it to the wolves. To the Horsemen & Women themselves, to the farms of Agriculture that supply the Hay & Straw, Tack Shops, Vets, Blacksmiths, Exercise Riders, Grooms, Pony People, Hot Walkers, Valets, people the take care of and maintain the Track surface. Etc…….

So this proposal wants it legal to bet on sporting events? Will Horse Racing be one of those events? And considering the amount of Revenue that RACINOS have generated surrounding Michigan like Indiana. Why isn’t the Race Tracks also included with this Proposal. The Tracks are already gambling establishments.

Once upon a time Gov. Engler had stated if you give the Tracks slots everybody will want them. Bars, Bowling Alley’s, Party Stores everybody from beauty shops to restaurants. Funny thing it was the Bars and Bowling Alleys among others that got Keno and the right to operate Charity Casinos long before the already gambling establishment of Horse Tracks.

And the Horse Racing Tracks being allowed any gaming at all as in slots? None and it’s appalling.

The only thing that should be added in this State is allowing Gaming to the existing Horse Racing Tracks that would bring in so much more needed revenue. These Racino Stats just don’t Lie.


Not only would it save this Industry and the jobs already connected to it. But it would also generate Millions upon Millions more to the State. Nothing but a WIN-WIN situation for both.

Michigan has thrown the Horse Racing Industry into the Pits of Hell. Yet another Ballot Proposal for more Casinos.

12,000+ jobs about to die their final death. And not one single Senator, Representative or this new Governor Rick Snyder gives a rats ass. Hell the MIHBPA cannot even gain any answers from the MGCB to if and when a license will be given to Pinnacle Race Course.

The Office of Racing Commissioner was dissolved in 2009 by Governor Granholm, yet the Mi. Charity Casino has a Deputy Commissioner.


What in the hell is anybody thinking in this State?

Whether the Romulus location is actually the Commercial land where Pinnacle Race Course sits. Without gaming actually being implemented at the Race Track itself what is having a Casino just yards away from the track going to do for the Horse Racing Industry?

The Race Tracks need the Slots to even the playing field. The Horse Racing Industry has generated Millions upon Millions over the years before any other gambling was allowed. We worked for the right, have Invested for the right and most importantly we have Earned that right.

We deserve to be acknowledged, we deserve the right to continue to exist and we deserve better than to be disregarded, thrown away and put out like the garbage.

The Horse Racing Industry of Michigan deserves the implementation of Gaming in the form of Slots, Telephone Wagering, and any other form of gaming that allows us the dignity we deserve to continue our livelihoods we have worked so hard for through the 78 year history of Horse Racing here in Michigan.

Why is it that 12 other States have recognized the fact that the Horse Racing Industry deserved to be on a fair playing field with the Casinos with even more States now going in that same direction? The Industry not only survived but continues to exist and has generated even more money to their States. Why would any State hurting for the kind of money Michigan is hurting for but continue to ignore this 100% fact? It is totally irresponsible and incomprehensible.

Michigan does not need to build 7 additional Casinos. Michigan needs to implement gaming to the 5 existing Race Tracks that have been gambling facilities from the start. Not only saving the Horse Racing Industry but in the process recognize the additional revenue that can come from it.

I am Fed Up with this State of Hypocrites that say enough gambling already. Yet more and more instant lottery tickets are creating each and every year. Anybody can apply for a Millionaire’s license to conduct Charity Casinos.

And I am Fed Up with hearing Richard Kalm – Director of the MGCB constantly running his mouth how important the three Casinos are to Detroit. There are a lot of hurting people out there right now within this State. Your three Detroit Casinos may help Detroit, but 5 Racinos would help the whole State of Michigan.

Understand This People.

Horse Racing was here first yet we are systematically being dismantled. This State and Governor are talking about bringing in New Jobs? What about the already 12,000+ existing Jobs that you are not only willing but seem to be determined to flush down the drain?

You call this Common Sense Governor Snyder?

All I know is this waiting game the MGCB has been playing with the MIHBPA must cease and it is time for the Thoroughbred Horsemen, Women and Agriculture to rise up and finally act.


Fight for your Industry by whatever means possible! We have that ace in the hole and it is time we use it. All of you are waiting yourselves to Death. And that is exactly what this State is counting on. They don’t see the $$$ that would fly over the border. I would show them the way.

They want a fight and I’d give it to them.  But “Be careful what you wish for Michigan, you may receive it” .

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Filed under Commentary, Detroit Casinos, Detroit News, Governor Snyder, Michigan Casinos, Michigan Governor, Michigan Governor Rick Snyder, Michigan Horse Racing, Michigan News, Michigan Politics, Michigan Thoroughbred Horse Racing History, News, Pinnacle Race Course, Politics, Racinos, The Michigan Gaming Control Board

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