The Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians will officially break ground on a new Seven Clans Casino Hotel and Restaurant in Warroad on Oct. 25. The Bemidji Pioneer reports pre-construction on the 165-acre site is already underway and full construction is expected to begin in March. The new complex will include 600 slot machines, a 100-seat restaurant and a 60-room hotel.
The Bureau of Indian Affairs is seeking comment on a plan to raze the historic Carter Hotel, the Duluth News Tribune reports. The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa bought the property in December 2010 and wants to tear it down. The city of Duluth has suggested several ways to reuse the 83-year-old building, but the tribe claims it is "in an extraordinary state of disrepair."
Duluth claims the tribe breached its contract with the city. The News Tribune reports the band is seeking federal authority to expand its downtown gaming activities to include a former hotel without obtaining approval from the city.
In exchange, the poorest Minnesota tribe wants the right to build a Twin Cities casino. House Speaker Kurt Zellers says he doubts White Earth can come up with the money up-front.
Duluth Mayor Don Ness says he still wants to find agreement with the Fond du Lac band so both sides benefit from the tribe's downtown casino. The city received a letter from the U.S. Dept. of the Interior giving a 10-day deadline for the city to explain why the casino lease shouldn't be voided. The city and the tribe are locked in a revenue sharing legal dispute.
The House leader on stadium legislation says the idea of funding a Vikings stadium with a new Twin Cities casino is "not in play right now." A spokeswoman for Mark Dayton says the governor does not support it as a way to pay for a stadium, saying a casino would likely be tied up in court for years and is not a reliable source of money.
White Earth says it would split revenue 50-50 with the state and calls the plan "the only solution that is fair to all Minnesotans." Meanwhile, sports facilities chief Ted Mondale says a new plan to build a stadium behind the Dome in downtown Minneapolis could come within days.
Leaders of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe say they are Minnesota's largest - and poorest - tribe. Thursday they'll roll out a plan for a Twin Cities casino and propose splitting the profits with the state. The idea may attract those looking for a way to fund a new Vikings stadium without raising taxes. But expansion of gambling has plenty of opponents.
The mayor of Duluth tells the Star Tribune the city is in serious financial trouble after the federal government sided with the Fond du Lac band in a legal tussle over casino revenue. The newspaper says some of the proposals to expand gambling in Minnesota could put the state on a similar collision course with tribes, which fear state gambling would cut into revenue that they say has helped alleviate crushing poverty on reservations.
Minnesota Public Radio reports another player is making a move in the stadium game. A flyer says the band wants to build a casino in the Twin Cities metro and split the take 50-50 with the state of Minnesota. The White Earth tribe appeared in December before a Senate hearing to pitch a casino plan.
Minnesota Public Radio is reporting representatives from the White Earth tribe will testify at the Senate committee hearing and will pitch a new casino in the Twin Cities to help fund a Vikings stadium.
Opponents of Racino plans say expansions to non-Indian gaming for funding a Vikings stadium would cut casino jobs by 30 percent.