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Canterbury, Shakopee tribe sign 75M gambling deal

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 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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Mystic Lake Derby debuts at Canterbury Park

Canterbury Park offered its richest purse ever for a single race at the track on Saturday. The $161,000 Mystic Lake Derby was the first significant event since the horse track partnered with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. Last month, the owners of Mystic Lake Casino agreed to pay $75 million over the next decade to boost racing purses at Canterbury Park. In exchange, the racetrack will drop its longstanding push to add slot machines. Hammers Terror won the inaugural race, with jockey Lori Keith in the saddle.

Racing Commission to consider Canterbury, Mdewakanton Sioux gambling partnership

The Minnesota Racing Commission will hold a special meeting next week in Shakopee to discuss the proposed deal. The Mdewakanton Sioux Community has agreed to pay $75 million over the next decade to boost racing purses at Canterbury Park. In exchange, the racetrack would drop its longstanding push to add slot machines and help block any plans to expand gambling in the Twin Cities. The agreement needs approval from the Racing Commission.

Shakopee Sioux gain major role at Canterbury in pact

The new 24-page agreement between the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux and Canterbury Park goes beyond having the tribe increase race purses in exchange for the track dropping its push for racino – it gives the Shakopee Sioux a major presence at the state's premiere horse racing venue. The tribe likely will heavily market its Mystic Lake Casino at the track. And the Sioux get naming rights to the winner's circle.

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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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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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The average attendance for the 62-day live racing season at the Shakopee racetrack was 6,595 -- a new record at Canterbury Park, the Shakopee Patch writes. That's up 7.3 percent compared to last summer -- which was 6 days shorter because of the state government shutdown. The amount of money wagered was also up 25 percent this year.

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The largest casinos in the state are operating with little to no government oversight. The Star Tribune reports it has been at least four years since slot machines were inspected at Mystic Lake Casino in Shakopee, Grand Casino Hinckley and Grand Casino Mille Lacs. The Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement division of the DPS told the paper budget constraints have reduced the number of inspections by its three full-time agents. The executive director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association says all casinos in the state are also regulated by the tribal governments.