Canterbury bets on plan for simulcasting races up north

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Horse racing enthusiasts may soon be able to bet on simulcast races from Canterbury Park while they visit the Northern Lights Casino Hotel in Walker, Minnesota.

WCCO Radio reported that the Shakopee track on Wednesday announced a deal with the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe to offer simulcast wagering. Money wagered on simulcast races will go toward improvements on Ojibwe land and will partially fund live racing purses at Canterbury.

“There is significant interest in live horse racing in northern Minnesota, so we see a great opportunity to meet customer demand and continue to support our mission of community development,” Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Chairwoman Carri Jones said in a statement. “We are thrilled to create these agreements with Canterbury Park and the organizations that represent world-class thoroughbred and quarter horse racing.”

The first-of-its-kind agreement would allow the casino and the track to split the wagering revenue from the races. The deal is possible thanks to legislation passed in 2012 to allow Minnesota tribes that are in the casino business to receive telecasts of horse races from tracks around the world.

The Star Tribune reports the proposed five-year deal has some hurdles to clear before the first bets can be taken at the casino. The plan is contingent on approval of state and tribal gaming authorities. If the Minnesota Racing Commission and National Indian Gaming Commission agree to the proposal, the casino could begin broadcasting races within months.

In 2012, Canterbury Park entered into a marketing agreement with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. As part of the 10 year deal, the Mdewakanton Sioux agreed to pump $75 million into racing purses at the track.

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