Could Republican Majority Mean Racino?

By Pat Kessler, WCCO-TV

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — Even before the new governor and legislature are out of the gate, there’s a race to the Capitol to pass racino.

Supporters of slot machines at Canterbury Park say the new Republican majorities in the Minnesota House and Senate could give them the best odds they’ve ever had.

When Democrats controlled the legislature, supporters of racino had a very hard time even getting a hearing.

Canterbury Park is pushing racetrack slot machines — racino — again. But this time a new Republican majority just might listen.

“Within four or six months we can parlay the money back to the people. We don’t have to wait for two years or a year. We would have the money instantly. Roll the slot machines in, start taking in money for the state,” said Dick Day.

Racino supporters are proposing 2000 slot machines at Canterbury Park, located in Shakopee, and Running Aces in Columbus.

The annual take for the state could be $125 million. And the Minnesota House sponsor of the bill says it’s money to use for something besides the deficit — are you ready for some football?

“Racino money should be used for special things — for infrastructure things, for like building a Vikings stadium. For doing something special things like that,” said Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar.

Indian tribes say racino threatens the 20,000 jobs they provide. And they’re willing to bet that a new Republican majority does not necessarily equal a gambling majority.

“There’s a lot of these new members that are coming in that are not pro-gambling. And they’re conservative folks from rural districts. And a lot of folks that have religious convictions,” said John McCarthy with the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association

One thing is guaranteed — racino will get serious consideration this year.

More from Pat Kessler
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  • al hanson

    go racino go!

    • Bill Ulwelling

      YES its time to support the Racino. The voters have spoke and its time to support the Racino.We need the racino to fund the other projects that the Indian tribes do not. A vote no and we will vote you out and the indian tribes along with John McCarty will not save your JOB. VOTE YES AND SUPPORT THE RACINO.

  • Mark from MNtaxwaste

    How about we just use the money we have collected? This is just the same as the Democrats raising taxes on the rest of us.

  • Plainy Jainy

    Get a grip….the tribes will just buy off the Republicans now. They already contributed a ton to Emmer, who most likely will lose after the recount – and he was against “expanding gambling”. No wonder with the large contribution he received from them. Dayton is for a state run casino, but that most likely will change once they inject him with their non taxed income. Same with Pawlenty – he changed his support of a state run casino in mid stream…..wonder how much he was paid off by the tribes? They have lots of money to throw around because they pay NO taxes like the rest of us working smucks – imagine how much money you would have to spend if you paid NO income taxes, NO property taxes, NO sales taxes….and could run a business with NO competition and NO regulation. As for losing 20,000 jobs – I am sure the casino workers would be more than happy to go work in a state run casino job where they actually have some human rights. The tax payers in MN should be outraged….but no one seems to care. PUT IT ON THE BALLOT IN 2012 and let the people decide. Its time we ended this welfare give away to some of the richest Minnesotans in the state. Emmer lost by 8000+ votes. Probably would have won had he not lost the 20,000 votes of the casino workers that voted for Dayton on the hopes of new working conditions at a STATE RUN CASINO. Interesting story – would like to see it covered in more depth with projections from an unbiased source of just how much the state could make with a new casino, or taxing all the current ones.

    • Normal Joe

      Show your support and buy CPHC (Canterbury Park) stock shares now, because when racino comes the price will go way up! I’m telling all my friends!

  • Plainy Jainy

    Yep, I was right. In todays paper – Dayton backed down on his support of a state run casino. Wonder how much that cost the Tribes in bribes? I’ll be thinking of him, and his sudden turnaround on the issue as I write out my tax check to MN come April 15th. Wonderful….some of the richest Minnesotans again will get away with paying nothing.

  • a taxpaying Native

    in reference to Plainy Jainy’s comment about Native Americans not paying income taxes…maybe you should actually do your homework before opening your mouth or more importantly, CLOSING your mind…as a taxpaying Native American, it is people such as yourself who give me all the more insight to the fact that ignorance really MUST be BLISS…

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