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Legal fight in Duluth shows gambling expansion would be high-stakes game

The mayor of Duluth tells the Star Tribune the city is in serious financial trouble after the federal government sided with the Fond du Lac band in a legal tussle over casino revenue. The newspaper says some of the proposals to expand gambling in Minnesota could put the state on a similar collision course with tribes, which fear state gambling would cut into revenue that they say has helped alleviate crushing poverty on reservations.
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The mayor of Duluth tells the Star Tribune the city is in serious financial trouble after the federal government sided with the Fond du Lac band in a legal tussle over casino revenue. The newspaper says some of the proposals to expand gambling in Minnesota could put the state on a similar collision course with tribes, which fear state gambling would cut into revenue that they say has helped alleviate crushing poverty on reservations.

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Duluth mayor wants to find compromise in messy downtown casino issue

Duluth Mayor Don Ness says he still wants to find agreement with the Fond du Lac band so both sides benefit from the tribe's downtown casino. The city received a letter from the U.S. Dept. of the Interior giving a 10-day deadline for the city to explain why the casino lease shouldn't be voided. The city and the tribe are locked in a revenue sharing legal dispute.

Will Minnesota lawmakers go after gambling revenue?

Minnesota's 18 Indian casinos bring in an estimated $15 billion a year. Part of this revenue could help finance a new Vikings stadium, but it's still unclear if the Governor and GOP leaders will consider expanding casino gambling to an off-reservation site. The Star Tribune reports tribal leaders and a battalion of lobbyists are preparing for a potentially fierce battle at the State Capitol.

White Earth band schedules press conference on 'stadium funding'

Minnesota Public Radio reports another player is making a move in the stadium game. A flyer says the band wants to build a casino in the Twin Cities metro and split the take 50-50 with the state of Minnesota. The White Earth tribe appeared in December before a Senate hearing to pitch a casino plan.

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White Earth says it would split revenue 50-50 with the state and calls the plan "the only solution that is fair to all Minnesotans." Meanwhile, sports facilities chief Ted Mondale says a new plan to build a stadium behind the Dome in downtown Minneapolis could come within days.

Judge rules tribe doesn't have to share casino revenue with city of Duluth

Two years ago the Fond du Lac tribe stopped sharing casino revenue with the city of Duluth, arguing their contract violated the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. That prompted the city to sue, and on Monday a district court judge ruled in the tribe's favor. The ruling will likely mean millions of dollars more in annual revenue for the tribe, and that much less for the city of Duluth.

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The Downtown Journal reports that a supposedly imminent deal to build a Vikings stadium does not include a downtown Minneapolis casino, but the owners of Block E say they're still committed to the idea.

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Leaders of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe say they are Minnesota's largest - and poorest - tribe. Thursday they'll roll out a plan for a Twin Cities casino and propose splitting the profits with the state. The idea may attract those looking for a way to fund a new Vikings stadium without raising taxes. But expansion of gambling has plenty of opponents.

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Gov. Dayton says even if lawmakers choose to fund a new Vikings stadium through a racino, the plan would likely get gummed up in the court system for years. He says any plan to expand gambling at the racetracks would probably bring a lawsuit from the state's tribes, which have a long-standing deal that grants them a monopoly on gambling.