Racino Could Be Best Option To Pay For Stadium

ST. PAUL, Minn. (WCCO) – There’s some new numbers out on how to fund a potential Minnesota Vikings stadium.

A report obtained Wednesday said slot machines located at Minnesota’s two horse racing tracks would generate enough annual revenue to build the Vikings stadium with plenty left over for education.

Lawmakers are looking at this new report, completed in just the last couple of weeks. It’s an idea supporters said could be the least complicated way to a Vikings stadium without raising new taxes. 

The new revenue figures show Canterbury Park and Running Aces horse racing tracks could generate hundreds of millions of dollars every year from slot machines. It’s enough to pay for a Minnesota Vikings stadium and more.

“There’s all kinds of other options that have been talked about, but the money is not there. The money is there with racino to get this done,” said Rep. Senator Al DeKruif of Madison Lake.

The Minnesota State Lottery prepared the study, showing racetrack slots would generate $432 million a year and $133.3 million in new taxes to the state. It’s enough for a Vikings stadium and to pay off part of the state’s crushing debt to schools.

“What i think we need to do is get this paid off as quickly as we can get this paid off,” DeKruif said. “Believe me theses tribes will compete. They’ll ramp it up.”

The Indian Gaming Association said the racino numbers are grossly inflated. That’s in part because tribes will boost their payouts to keep customers.

And a warning: It could mean layoffs for thousands of tribal casino workers statewide.

“And the losers are going to be the people who lose their jobs. And the winners are going to be the millionaires like Zygi Wilf and the Sampsons and others,” said John McCarthy with the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association.

New York opened several racinos on Tuesday, which brought in state taxes of $1.5 million on the first day. On the other hand, voters in Maine turned down a proposal to open two racino operations. Racino remains controversial across the country.

Republicans assembling a stadium bill said gambling is the most likely way to pay for it, and Gov. Mark Dayton is considering it.

More from Pat Kessler
  • Ed Wilts

    NO. The State is broke. If Racinos are good for the State, and I’m not convinced they are, then do it. But we still can’t afford a stadium – there are more important priorities that the State has to fund first. If you can’t afford basic services like education, public safety, and infrastructure, then you can’t afford luxuries like stadiums.

    • ForeverVikingFan

      Yes, we get it. You hate the Vikings.

      • Go Pack

        Hey Im for the Racino But what im not for is giving any proceeds to Ziggy and his bunch of losers. NO MONEY MOVE

        • Rockford

          Yea, the GO PACK guy doesn’t want the Vikings to get a stadium, Go figure, didn’t see that coming.

        • Andrew

          Yeah, not at all like the 295 million the Packers spent on updating their stadium.

    • rr

      Sure we can, if they go with the Racinos, Plus you’ll still have a long term funding source for your basic services..

    • Jacob Wright

      especcially if the viking suck! i say give the nothing , be happy with what u got!

    • Ordinary Guy

      The best way to fund a stadium is to have another town buy it.

      2% of the Twin Cities has shown up for games on average, so that means that 98% could see as much of it as they do now, even if it were built in Mexico City.

  • drexter

    PROOF! “The Indian Gaming Association said the racino numbers are grossly inflated. That’s in part because tribes will boost their payouts to keep customers.” OH…But they won’t boost their payouts to keep customers now. They have severely lowered payouts because no-one tells them they can’t. These places are such a rip-off, they hardly pay out at all! At least State Casino’s would be more regulated and FAIR and the money would go toward state programs that help the entire population. “Some” casino tribe members still live in poverty. So where does that money go? Into pockets somewhere….

    • drexter

      Also, I agree it is the best way to fund a stadium

    • Jacob Wright

      i live in the tristate area 20miles from a state owned casino and also a state that has a casino in every gas station believe me ..they Do not pay out as much..a casino is a casino ..your either lucky or your not, and i believe that money goes to education, healthcare,housing. u sound and write like your educated so go research, before you say sumthing u have no idea about lol

      • Obv. Jacob

        So you’re comparing 6 slot machines in a gas station, to a racetrack with poker, BJ, and other table games. Minnesota is not trying to add slots to gas stations and bars.

  • me

    Ya, I get a kick outta the commercials for Casinos. Everyone’s a winner. Not really, only in the commercials to get you there. Maybe the State Casino would be more regulated and FAIR like drexter said.

  • Brandan Fiedler

    Could Minnesota afford the loss of revenue as a result of the loss of the Minnesota Vikings? NO! I believe that the Minnesota Vikings are an important part of our state’s culture, as well as our other professional sports teams (the Minnesota Wild, Minnesota Twins and Minnesota Timberwolves). We have to build this stadium and the racino is a good way to pay for the stadium.

  • Robert

    The best option?

    The BEST option is for Zygi to pay for his own stadium.

    There are no economic benefits to taxpayer subsidized stadiums. Anyone who tells you different is lying.


    • Idiot Savant

      do you have these links on speed dial or something? You make the same stupid post every time there is an article on the Vikings stadium. Go put your tinfoil hat on and wait for the aliens to come get you.

      • Frankie

        Idiots keep posting the same comments on how the Vikings bring money to the state. Notice you cannot refute what he says, or what the sites say.

        • Mayhem

          @ Frankie

          There was a couple of pieces on “CCO that indicates the Vikings DO bring in money to the state….find it, do your own research and figure it out yourself.

          Besides all this, taxes were taken off the table to fund the stadium a few weeks back so Robert’s point is moot anyways.

          I suggest the both of you read up on current events…that would help too.

          • gum flapper

            Hey big boy, what happened to “mute” – you know, what we’d all like you to be.

          • JMJ


            Yes the Vikings do bring in money to the state. But here is the problem: They want $600 mill for the stadium after you calculated what their revenue brings in, it is estimated it will be over the 30 yrs before the state see a return.

            I suggest you read up on your current events.

            • Mayhem


              How long is a typical mortgage on a house before its actually owned by the buyer?

              That would be 30 yrs.

              Though not a mortgage, it is an investment none-the-less.

              consider yourself educated

              • Robert

                No intelligent person or business would make an investment that takes 30 years to bear fruit.

                Businesses typically look for a 2 year payback.

                This is beyond a bad deal…it reeks.

  • king

    I like to see the Casino at block- E down town, that would business too *

  • http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2011/11/09/racino-could-be-best-option-to-pay-for-stadium-2/ Racino Could Be Best Option To Pay For Stadium « CBS Minnesota

    […] [check out the report] Share this No comments // […]

  • A Voter

    Why not double the cost of Vikings tickets to pay for a new stadium, that way those who use it will pay for it.

    • Im a Voter too

      or those that dont want a stadium…dont gamble. Or go outstate to do so.

      your problem is solved as well.

  • Gibson

    Hey, Channel 4, please get your facts straight–or at least complete. Two counties in Maine rejected two new tribal racinos. Maine already has racinos and casinos, and, of course, they helped financed efforts to defeat what would be competition for them.
    Racinos are the best solution for financing of the state’s share of a new stadium. It’s time non-tax-paying tribal casinos controlled public policy.

    • Move to LA Bunch of losers

      There is plenty of other things to get funding from racinos. Not billionaires

      • Mayhem

        we’re not building billionaires

        we’re building a stadium that would belong to MN.

        I guess you wont be gambling in MN

        • Robert

          Let’s look at the facts.

          You, the taxpayer, will end up with less money.
          Zygi, the billionaire, will end up with more money.

          Here is a diagram to help you:

          Taxpayer >>>—–$$$—–>>> Zygi

          Is that clear now?

          • Mayhem

            While were at it, lets look at the bigger facts.

            I, the taxpayer, already end up with less money paying for welfare recepients to raise their 10 kids per family.

            Zygi, the billionaire will end up with more money than you or I no matter if the stadium is built or not – he’s a billionaire.

            However, since taxes arent being used to fund said stadium, once again those that are not paying attention to current events that bring this up as an argument need to thier A.D.D. medications.

            Here is a diagram for you while youre swallowing your pills….

            Taxpayer >>>>>Wefare>>>>>>Lazy pukes


            Like I tell everyone else, If you dont want it, quit your whining and dont gamble.

            Im guessing youre going to need more diagrams though.

            • A Voter

              Here’s one for you Mayhem,

              No Welfare for Kids>>>>>>Taxpayer>>>>>>Jacked Cars, Home Burglaries

  • http://www.consumerwebsource.com/?p=11431 ConsumerWebSource.com » Blog Archive » Racino Could Be Best Option To Pay For Stadium

    […] [check out the report] […]

  • AliRam

    I demand a smoke free casino, A state run casino would be smoke free and you will not have to pay for my long term health costs (millions) because I will not have to be around second hand smoke. There are many others like me who want a smoke free casino.

  • Purple People Eater

    Hey everybody calm down. This stadium is going to get built. Do you really think they will let the Vikings leave? Remember when the Twins were going to leave? I dont know what funding formula will be used but the Vikings are staying.

  • TL

    Love how the republicans are acting like this is a novel idea that just sprang up the last couple of days to a week….

    MN has been screaming for a racino for YEARS….even before the staduim issue came up!

    The GOP….late on the button as usual

  • NO money for Zygi from any public source


    Expanding gaming is a bad idea to start with; it causes nothing but problems and problems negatively affect families and especially children. Ultimately that leads to more expense for the state.

    Even if gaming were expanded, any proceeds should go to repay money the state has already “borrowed” from other funds first, then other existing state programs – NOT to Zygi or the Vikings.

    The BEST solution is for Zygi to pack his bags and get out of the state; the second best solution is for him to pay his own way without financial assistance from the state.

  • I'm Just Sayin'

    Why Racino, that will only create a state run casino still in the far south Metro. Your convention center and hubs are still much farther north and more central to your population. If the state wants me to spend my “gambling money” at a state sponsored casino then you need to make it convienent for me to get there, not force me to drive as far as Mistake Lake. Build the Block E Casino and lets get this deal done. Our education system keeps telling us they need more and more money, this will get them more money. Losing the vikings will cost us money.

    • Ordinary Guy

      Well if poor folks are more likely to take a chance to get rich at a casino, an inner-city casino makes sense. Put it next to the public assistance office downtown and save bus fare too, for when their food and rent money runs out.

  • Denner

    Running Aces is in the North Metro and should be a state casino too.

  • NO STADIUM!!!!!! GO TO L.A.


  • DJ

    give me a break! quite trying to find fault in everything. It is a great idea . Must be the tribes are in some of your leaders back pockets . GET THIS DONE!!! Diamond Joes in Northwood IA has done great things for its schools and surrounding communities . Wake up

  • LB


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