By Pat Kessler

ST. PAUL (WCCO) — The idea of a Racino is getting some extra momentum from the Republican leaders in the Minnesota Senate.

Canterbury Park in Shakopee already has horse racing and a card club, but a new bill proposed Thursday could add slots to the list of gambling, there and at Running Aces near Forest Lake.

Lawmakers, who took $2 billion from classrooms, are desperate to pay it back, and this bill would — over 30 years. There’s also enough to help build a Vikings stadium, if it’s needed.

Republican Majority Leader David Senjem says there’s not enough money from other sources, like electronic pull tabs, to fund a new Vikings stadium.

But he says his plan for $133 million annually from slots has close to enough votes to pass.

“We know that we’re pretty close, if a vote needed to be taken. I think that we may be three or four votes away, and it may be possible,” said Senjem.

Minnesota tribal casinos are already on full alert.

“Once this door is open it will never close,” said John McCarthy with the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association.

Non-Indian slot machines don’t violate their gambling contracts with the state, but they believe it violates the constitution, and they’re prepared to sue.

“How do you say no to Rochester, St. Cloud, Brainerd when you’ve said yes to Forest Lake and Shakopee?” said McCarthy. “We don’t think that the people of Minnesota — when they voted for a lottery back in the 80s — voted to let that lottery run casinos. That’s a stretch.”

If there is Racino, McCarthy tells us the tribal casinos will not sit back and let it happen. There could be major changes to casino operations, including: Alcohol served at places like Mystic lake. Huge prize giveaways like cars and vacations. Competition would be fierce.

Comments (28)
  1. darb says:

    With approx.70% in polls in favor, what’s to debate. Get it done.

    1. June says:

      You have misread the polls:

      “Would you favor or oppose using public money for a new Viking’s stadium?”

      Favor: 22%
      Oppose: 74%
      Don’t know: 4%


      1. Semper says:

        You are mislead by the polls. Since when does 800 people count for the feelings of 4 million people. They should poll the 600 people I work with, then it would be about 98% in favor of a racino or gambling money to help fund a new Vikings stadium. Don’t post silly stuff like that as absolute fact. What, do you work for Faux news?

      2. Randy says:

        This story is about Racino’s, not stadiums. And the polls say 70% are in favor of them.

      3. stpaulgal49 says:

        What’s funny is that people think gambling money from racino or electronic pull tabs isn’t “public money.” ALL GAMBLING REVENUES GENERATED UNDER AUSPICES OF MINNESOTA LOTTERY ARE CONSIDERED PUBLIC MONEY AND ARE SUPPOSED TO GO INTO GENERAL FUND. If gambling revenues are used to pay for Vikings stadium, then it will be PUBLIC MONEY, and instead of going to roads or schools or health care, it will go to Zygi Wilf. People need to understand that under MN law, all lottery revenue is PUBLIC MONEY, intended for GOVERNMENT purposes.

  2. Sinclair says:

    If there is money to be made from a Racino, why should it be given to a New Jersey billionaire?

    How about schools, seniors, tax relief, balancing the budget, etc?

    Contact your representative:


    1. Adam says:

      Oh I see, you must not understand:
      1) Scroll up to the top of the page.
      2) Click the play button on the embedded video (The thing with a circle and a triangle).
      3) Listen very carefully (especially around 45 seconds in)
      4) “Money from horse track slot machines would flow to struggling schools…”
      5) Remove head from ass.

      1. Sinclair says:

        Keep your head right where it is.

        It’s cover for Zygi taking public money for his private business. “None are so blind as those who will not see.”

        You are being played for a fool.

        1. wake up says:

          There is a lot more at hand then ziggis pocket… the racino bill has been in play A LOT longer then the vikings garbage..

  3. nancy n says:

    to bad they built the metrodome so poorly, is that why they keep losing? will a new stadium help them win more? if they do win more do we have to break any treaties for racinos? since the natives have already been ripped off already, especially when it came to all the land that was wrongly taken from them

    1. whatev says:

      lol that “Native American” bill has been in affect FOR AGES!!!!!! its a treaty long over due to be changed……..

  4. ronald matson says:

    I voted for a race track years ago. But i only went once, because it was so far out of town. So, build a real Vegas style casino downtown. The state would have plenty of money. If the churches dont like it, maybe they should pay taxes.

    1. Reggy says:

      There is a high cost of parking/travel and a lot of crime downtown.

      Some property owner downtown has bought himself a politician.

      1. ronald says:

        Tens of thousands of people live downtown…….!!

        1. Allen says:


          Is that a viable pool of customers? Most of the stores downtown went belly up.

          You’ve never run a successful business have you? This is political shenanigans and greed.

          Zygi’s henchmen are in the background pulling the strings of the puppet politicians and making them dance.

  5. Janet says:

    Kick David Senjem out of the Republican party.

  6. some lawmaker says:

    Was this not the same law maker that said, “this willl raise 150 million a years for charity” only mentioning millionaies, billionaies, an a vikings stadium as the charity?

    giving gov. more money means a bigger Gov. Just look mayors of St.Paul an Minneapolis are now bickering over this charity money an somehow the target center got envolved too. Hey where dod the saints stadium go? New Nicollet Mall? Where’ Bloomingrons share. Renovate downtown St. Paul also.


  7. Tish says:

    What the…”There could be major changes to casino operations, including: Huge prize giveaways like cars and vacations. Competition would be fierce”.
    Wow this would be GREAT!!! And about time the Indian monopoly is broken. As a slot player this is a dream come true.. and as a non-smoker having a completly non-smoking casino would be double GREAT!!! Sweet… make it so!

    1. Cindy says:

      funny how the Indian casinos all of a sudden start saying “we will start giving away better wins and more jackpots…” well this is all the more reason to get a state casino, they are admitting they have a monopoly and are ripping of the slot players… I am also a non-smoker and would love to play in a smoke free casino!!!

      1. stpaulgal49 says:

        I didn’t see any comment about increasing “better wins and more jackpots.” That’s not what McCarthy said. He said they’d be giving away more big prizes like cars and vacations. Tribes are limited under compacts to a range of payouts–they can’t increase them or decrease them beyond that range. Tribes understand that higher payouts bring in more customers, but they can only go so high and remain in compliance with the compacts.

  8. Avis says:

    The Racinos would be far more convinient than the casinos.Better access to the freeways than Mystic Lake, closer than Hinkley. ArdenHills stadium, racetrack at themetrodome. New use for the lockerrooms

  9. redneck purist says:

    We should legalize prostitution in MN too. Then we could tax it and raise lots more money for schools and stadiums. Throwing school spending into this just gives Dayton another opportunity to hammer people who don’t want the state to fund a stadium. “They hate the kids because they don’t want more gambling”. Just wait.

    1. Frozenrunner says:

      Legalize Pot a tax it. It would not be a terribly good idea to legalize meth. That would be condoning a slow brain deathj

  10. Great. Let's Teach Our Kids To Gamble. says:

    “Lawmakers, who took $2 billion from classrooms, are desperate”

  11. j speedbag 64 says:

    i like the idea to do racino but when the kkk comes out and starts insulting the ”indians”then i’m with the” indians”on this issue,we already know the american indian is the most hated race on the planet…..

    1. Kevin says:

      What the fu** are you talking about? What does the KKK have to do with building a stadium? Your a moron. Oh and I believe that Somalians are the most hated race on the planet…..or at least in MN. And not all Native Americans make money from Casino’s. Infact there are just a handful that make money off Mystic Lake. But I am always up for kicking Native Americans…..I mean we have not kicked them enough. I passed through a few Indain Reservations in SD last summer. They made thrid world nations look like vacation resorts.

  12. Mr.Obvious says:

    Politicians have been in the Indians pockets for too long. Legalize it and tax it.

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