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Reality Check: Rolling The Dice On Gambling Revenues

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(credit: CBS) Pat Kessler
Pat Kessler knows Minnesota politics. He's been on the beat long...
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ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) — There has been plenty of talk at the Minnesota State Capitol about a new Vikings stadium and now gambling is back on the table.

Electronic pull tabs are emerging as a fundraising option as well as a possible gambling casino in downtown Minneapolis.

Gov. Mark Dayton said he wants all plans on the table by the end of this week, and will submit a Vikings stadium bill to the legislature on Nov. 7.

But how much gambling money is actually available in Minnesota right now? And which of the 50 states derives the most revenue from gambling?

It’s NOT Minnesota.

IN FACT…

Minnesota’s near the bottom of states. Despite estimated billions of dollars wagered here, state government got $159 million last year.

Minnesota got most of its revenues from the state sponsored lottery with a total of $122 million.

A total of $36 million came from charitable gaming, specifically pull tabs. And about $1 million from horseracing.

What’s missing is that Minnesota’s Indian Casinos are not required to report revenues and they pay no money to the state.

That’s part of the compact Minnesota negotiated with Indian tribes.

But one recent report puts the total take at state Indian casinos at $1.5 billion.

That’s NOT THE WHOLE STORY.

Minnesota’s Indian gaming industry is the sixth largest employer in the state with 22,550 workers.

The number one state in gambling taxes from casinos? It’s not Nevada. It’s Pennsylvania.

Pennsylvania has a 55 percent gambling tax, taking in $1.5 billion from its 10 casinos.

That’s Reality Check.

Click on the links below for the sources Pat Kessler used for this Reality Check.

Gambling In Minnesota 2011 (PDF)
Gambling In Minnesota 2011 (PDF)
Sources Of State Revenue From Gambling
National Ranking of Gambling Revenues By State
Gambling Industry Revenues 2011
Minnesota’s Top Employers
Indian Gaming Economic Impact

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