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Racino bill gets hearing at Capitol on Monday

The bill would allow the state's horse-racing tracks to add slot machines and other casino games. The bill's author, Republican Dave Senjem, says an estimated $130 million in annual revenue would go toward job creation and economic development, though he did leave open the possibility of tapping it for a Vikings stadium.
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The bill would allow the state's horse-racing tracks to add slot machines and other casino games. The bill's author, Republican Dave Senjem, says an estimated $130 million in annual revenue would go toward job creation and economic development, though he did leave open the possibility of tapping it for a Vikings stadium.

Racino Hearing Hits Minn. Capitol Monday: MyFoxTWINCITIES.com

Thoroughbred breeders tell KSTP their industry has nearly vanished because of smaller purses at Canterbury. They say they won't survive without Racino legislation.

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Loose oversight and 'racino' slot machines help fuel injuries at nation's horse tracks

Minnesota has relatively low incidences of horse and jockey injuries at Canturbury Park according to an analysis by the New York Times. But other states with fewer regulations and bigger purses ballooned by slot machine gambling don't fare as well.

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Minnesota Indian tribes have long opposed proposals to put casino gambling in race tracks. State Rep. Tim Kelly (R-Red Wing) now suggests having the tribes share in the revenue from slot machines, along with the state and the horse racing industry. "It may be just the perfect storm that everybody comes together," Kelly says.

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While the Vikings, Minneapolis, and the Dayton administration are in negotiations to come up with a stadium plan, state lawmakers have floated a series of long-shot proposals of their own. The latest is a revival of the "racino" idea, which would use revenue from slot machines at horse racing tracks to help fund a new stadium. Gambling opponents and tribal casinos have helped defeat the proposal in the past.

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The Star Tribune reports the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and the Canterbury Park horse-racing track have reached a 10-year agreement. The deal calls for the tribe, which operates the nearby Mystic Lake Casino, to contribute tens of millions of dollars to Canterbury purses. In exchange, owners of the racetrack in Shakopee agree to end their pursuit to add slot machines and help block efforts to expand gambling in the Twin Cities metro area.

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The bargain calls for the tribe that operates neighboring Mystic Lake casino to pay Canterbury Park $75 million over 10 years. In return for that cash infusion to boost its purses, the Shakopee track will give up its long-running push for slot machines. The Running Aces harness racing track is not part of the deal and argued against it.

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