Lawmakers Float Racino Bill To Help Fund Stadium

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Two Minnesota lawmakers have introduced a bill to authorize casino-style gambling at the Canterbury Park horse-racing track and use tax proceeds to help pay for a new Vikings stadium.

The Vikings’ plan for a $1.1 billion stadium in Arden Hills is currently $131 million short of the needed construction funds under a plan that would split costs between the team, Ramsey County and the state. Minnesota Public Radio reports that Sen. Dan Sparks and Rep. Tom Hackbarth say that could come from the so-called “racino” proposal.

But the chief House sponsor of the stadium bill says he’s not convinced it’s a good idea to link gambling to the Vikings stadium.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Bob

    About time ! Come on politicians get this done !

    • I don;t gamble, but respect others

      I am all in favor of this bill. Although I am not a gambler I respect the right of others to participate in this sport. I also think it is time we support the horse racing industry in this state by allowing slots at the track. This is a no brainer and will help get a Viking stadium approved.

  • Dave Campbell

    Are you kidding me? What happened to the budget and jobs that the GOP promised us?

    • sickofitall


  • Bryan

    Why not? It’s thier money let them play with it. I don’t gamble, but if it helps fund a new Vikings stadium that I support I might just start.

  • Sid

    Hope our legislators finally come around to using common sense. An additional source of revenue that is strictly voluntary and won’t cost Minnesota taxpayers a thing !!!!!

  • NO stadium!

    We don’t want a damn Vikings stadium that isn’t paid for 100% by Mr. Ziggy and the players. We have bigger fish to fry.

    “NO!” to a stadium!

    • All for racino for stadium

      Then say goodbye to the Vikings because they will be gone in less than a year!

      • good riddance

        We can only pray they leave…They suck anyways!!

        • Better Pray

          A little bit harder. This will get done, the Gov. wants it, and the state NEEDS IT!

    • YES stadium!

      Yes to stadium. Get this done. WE do want a stadium deal done if it’s done with a majority of other revenue streams that include a racino. Gamblers already go there to gamble on horses. Why not add slots if it helps get a new stadium done.

  • j

    How many times, and how many ways do we have to say it?
    The majority of Minnesotans do not want any more tax dollars going the the rich!

    • shaking my head

      What part about this don’t you knuckleheads understand? We aren’t giveing Ziggy anything! The state would own the stadium, not the Vikings! They’d lease the stadium just like they do the dome. If anything, Ziggy is giving the state $400 million to help fund a stadium they wouldn’t even own. Get your damn facts straight and stop acting like we are giving something to Ziggy! A new stadium would certainly help the vikes finacially so they’d be gaining there, but ithe state of MN would gain just as much if not more finacially from a stdium project. I can’t stand ignorance! Quit drinking the cook aid. I could understand the opposition if this were a case where the Vikings were asking the state to help fund a stadium that the Wilf’s would own and operate. But that is not what is being proposed. The Vikings want a new stadium, and are willing to chip in $400 million to help pay the state pay for something the state would own, operate, and profit from. Every gains and benifits from this deal As far as the economy goes…when is there a good time to build a stadium? The deficit always sucks. This project put thousnads of people to work!

      • You Betcha

        Bravo, finally someone who understands that this would be a state owned facility. The only thing that the Wilfs will get out of this is retail space. They are putting up 400 Million, they are investing in our state! The roads need to be improved anyway, the land needs to be cleaned anyway, and anyway to improve things, we need to get this done anyway possible. Yes that is alot of anyways, understand, we are improving a blight upon this state.

  • Sue

    Sid I agree, if you don’t want to support a new stadium then don’t play the slots is what it boils down to. I guess the people that don’t want a stadium would much rather pay higher taxes to support the people that are out of work and have to join the Welfare roles. I would much rather see people working during construction and after a stadium is opened. Rather than supporting Welfare, lets build the stadium and help the MN economy.

    • support racino gambling

      If our beloved Vikings move then you can say goodbye to all the tax revenue on player and staff salaries. That kind of revenue is hard to replace.

      • More talk without support

        Put some FACTS and FIGURES and PROOF to your statement. You can’t, because there isn’t.

  • That's not the whole story

    Sue, what you don’t understand is it’s not that simple. The problem is “the slots,” or “the tax on memorabilia,” etc. will only cover a small portion of the cost of a stadium. It it truly were a situation where non-supporters could “simply avoid playing the slots or buying memorabilia,” that would be great. But, that is not the case, there will have to be other taxes, e.g. a city or county-wide sales tax to make up what would be a very significant amount of money.

    So, pretty much any plan, other than the owners and players paying for it, will absolutely cost the general public a lot of money. And it won’t be short term and, even after the stadium is paid for, the tax(es) will not go away – they never do. Minnesota’s original sales tax was supposed to be “temporary” as were several of the subsequent increases. Well, we’re still paying ’em.

  • Connie Meyer

    It’s time for a state run casino or slots at Cantebury. There is plenty of money being spent at Mystic Lake and some of it can go to help pay for statium costs and help the poor. Slots at Cantebury should not hurt the outlying Indian casinos. Go for it, let’s get it voted in now. People are going to gamble and why not have some of it go towards statium costs and the poor. You only have to go to Mystic Lake once and see all the people in the building and driving there all times of the day.

  • JK

    Enough with the stadium! If the vikes want a stadium they should build it themselves! use the money to balance our budget and reduce cuts to social programs such as our elderly and disabled.

    • Socialist

      Take your socialist attitude and move to Wisconsin. Help people is all I hear, support the man not working, instead of put him to work. Maybe our Elderly should have thought about their retirement like I have too. Our disabled I understand, but the elderly? Hand out, hand out….you talk about the Wilfs with their hand out, yet the same people that say that have theirs out everyday!

  • Fair Trade

    The state will pay for a stadium if Ziggy pays Minnesota Medicaid $1.1 Billion dollars.

  • Jason

    Why is this not consideredfor the $5,000,000,000 hole we are in? Pure insanity.

  • xx

    Be careful about voting in additional gambling. Better yet, get rid of all of the gambling that is out there already.

    The only thing that gambling does is to move money form one persons pocket to another. Then you have to look at all of the welfare costs, the increase in thefts and business lossess caused by dishonest gambling employees who steal to support their habit.

    Sure, a piece of money is raised by the casino, but at what cost. In the scope of the overall economy, there is a big net loss in value as a result.

    If you look at the Mystic Lake casino, there is a very small group of folks who have huge amounts of money as a result of the casino. But how many folks have lost hundereds or thousands of dollars at the casino. How many folks have lost their homes as a result of their habits. How monay folks are now supported by the sate since they are no longer valued employees as a result of their gambling?

    Really not a good idea to expand gambling. The state loses all of the way around if it is expanded.

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