Racino supporters up the ante, pledge $23M more towards Vikings stadium

The Minnesota State Lottery says that slot machines at horse racing tracks Canterbury Park and Running Aces will raise enough annual revenue to build a Vikings stadium with money left for education.
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The Minnesota State Lottery says that slot machines at horse racing tracks Canterbury Park and Running Aces will raise enough annual revenue to build a Vikings stadium with money left for education.

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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.

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.

New Senate leader gives stadium supporters friend in high place

Republican Sen. David Senjem has been an outspoken supporter of a new home for the Vikings and a chief backer of legislation that would allow slot machines at horse racing tracks. Senjem is part of a private group now working to write a stadium bill. He says he expects the Legislature will have plan in place for the next session.

New Senate leadership gives racino idea "more muscle" at Capitol

One House member says the rise of new Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem and Assistant Leader Claire Robling lends muscle to the move to put slot machines at horse racing tracks. The proposal's chances with the House and Governor Dayton are still murky, though.

Lawmaker seeks to broker deal between tribes and racino backers

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.

Dayton: Racino wouldn't be fast cash

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.

Lawmaker says racino could fund Vikings stadium with money left over

Republican Rep. Tom Hackbarth says he's run the numbers, and he says slot machines at race tracks would pay for not only the state's portion of the Vikings stadium but could also pick up the tab for Ramsey County.

Senate panel approves stadium bill after adding racino

A funny thing happened to the stadium bill on its way to the Senate floor. A racino was added. Stadium backers worry inclusion of casino gambling at racetracks as a funding source will kill the bill. One more committee will take up the measure Thursday and may try to remove the racino.