Michigan’s ORC 2008 Initiatives

When the ORC, Office of Racing Commissioner, was first established, it was run under the 1933 Racing Act that allowed the ORC to regulate and to authorize pari-mutuel horse racing in the state of Michigan. Today, ruling under the 1995 Horse Racing Law, the ORC is an independent agency that is responsible for the regulations of all the race tracks and ensures that the sport remains fair and fun for all. Some of their duties include appointing veterinarians, appointing stewards, permits, licenses, approving track officials, formal hearings, disciplinary and criminal prosecution and drug testing.

When the ORC, Office of Racing Commissioner, was first established, it was run under the 1933 Racing Act that allowed the ORC to regulate and to authorize pari-mutuel horse racing in the state of Michigan. Today, ruling under the 1995 Horse Racing Law, the ORC is an independent agency that is responsible for the regulations of all the race tracks and ensures that the sport remains fair and fun for all. Some of their duties include appointing veterinarians, appointing stewards, permits, licenses, approving track officials, formal hearings, disciplinary and criminal prosecution and drug testing.

This year, the ORC 2008 Initiatives have been centered on the 75th celebration of pari-mutuel horse racing in Michigan. Pari-mutuel is a form of pool betting. It is where all bets are placed in one pool, and the odds and payoffs calculated in regard to the amount of bets placed and the pool amount. There is no house or taxes in pari-mutuel betting. The simplest distinction between fixed betting and pari-mutuel betting is, when a fixed bet is placed the payout is determined when the bet is placed. In pari-mutuel betting, the payout is only determined once the pool has been closed. And this form of betting has flourished in Michigan for seventy-five years.

The Office of Racing Commissioner has decided to focus their efforts on five major levels for the coming year. The ORC 2008 Initiatives will therefore include the promotion of the horse racing industry and focusing on the 75 year celebration of the horse racing industry in Michigan, under the pari-mutuel betting system. The establishment will also strive to build closer relations with the various horse associations, racing tracks and even the fans, to ensure that racing remains enjoyable for the fans and participants. Improving the position of the Michigan horse racing industry amongst other horse racing jurisdictions is another vital point for the ORC. Technology will also play a major role in the regulating of the health of horses, licensing issues and in ongoing investigations. The Office of Racing Commissioner also hopes to amend and develop existing policies and procedures to provide better service delivery and working relationships with the licensees and the State Government.

Protecting the integrity of horse racing as a sport and overseeing that regulations and procedures are upheld, are important functions of the ORC. Promoting horseracing and maintaining a solid, uncorrupted and fair foundation will secure the future of horse racing in Michigan. As the ORC takes on its new challenges, the world of horse racing will transform itself into a better version, with continued pride, integrity and confidence.