Are racinos a better bet than electronic pulltabs?


Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, says slot machines at the state's two horse-racing tracks -- Canterbury Park in Shakopee and Running Aces in Columbus -- is a simple way to raise revenue and solve the state's funding issues for the new Vikings stadium, the Star Tribune reports.

However, Canterbury Park won't likely support the idea after it made a deal with Mystic Lakes Casino last summer to drop its push for a racino.

"It's not taxpayer dollars, it's voluntary contributions to folks that want to go and play slot machines," Hackbarth told the newspaper. "It was a great idea as long as I've carried this bill ... I still think it's a good idea."

He predicts the state would collect more than $100 million in annual revenue if both horse tracks had racinos.

Electronic pulltabs, the primary source of revenue for the state’s $348 million contribution for the stadium, continue to fall well below original projections.

Minnesota Public Radio says the games took in a record $2.4 million in March, but still well short of the projected $35 million by the end of 2013.

The daily average sales per machine fell to a new record low of just $87, according to data from the Minnesota Gambling Control Board.

WCCO's Pat Kessler says Gov. Mark Dayton is open to alternative funding options.

Last week, state Sen. Sean Nienow said he wants plans to break ground on the new Vikings stadium put on hold until financing issues are resolved.

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