By Susie Jones, NewsRadio 830 WCCO

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Not everyone is excited about the idea of building a casino in downtown Minneapolis.

The new owner of Block E is considering opening a Bellagio or Wynn style luxury casino.

However, John McCarthy, the executive director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, has real concerns.

Speaking with WCCO’s Chad Hartman, McCarthy said it is not going to be a “money machine.”

McCarthy says he’d like the state to do a study of the impact of a casino on other gaming operations before it goes forward.

WCCO’s Chad Hartman Interviews McCarthy

Comments (55)
  1. Bob says:

    Imagine the tribes being upset! We are getting the shaft people! We need a Racino this year then expand more gambling!then there will be no budget shortfall in the future!

    1. Raping the natives again? says:

      yep, just another member of the majority trying to keep down the natives and infringe upon one of the few sources of revenue.they have. Shame on you!! Go back to europe.

      1. Cache says:

        NOBODY should have a monopoly…If they can’t compete by now they deserve to go down..Competition is a good thing. I been to many Indian casinos…they leave a lot to be desired!

      2. captainobvious says:

        Why is it our problem you have no resources, go to school and get a job stop feelling entitled to something make something of yourselves on your own, take some pride in yourself

      3. NOT Raping the natives again says:

        Since when is competition raping anyone? Get a clue. Their source of revenue BTW is to prey on others weakness. Learned that from the Europeans … now learn how to compete.

    2. Cyndy says:

      I am from one of the poorest reservations in this state called Red Lake, and would like to see useful sources of property used to which gives the state of Minnesota a chance to support it self. Since i’ll never see a percap check

    3. Katie says:

      I’m Caucasian and am embarrased every time a racino or other gambling issues are brought up to be ued for state revenue which would be breaking the spirit of, or the actual, contract we made with the Native Americans. Gee, didn’t we do them enough harm before? Do we have to continue to break our word with them? Plus, it’s a shameful situation when a state in this country has to rely on gambling money to balance its budget. In a small town where I once worked, it was the city owned liquor store and receipts from pulltabs that kept the city in the black. That’s a sorry state of affairs when we have to rely on potential addiction makers for our revenue. VERY sorry! Frankly, I’d rather pay (as a middle income person) $100 – $200 per year more in taxs than rely on booze and gambling. Most people “blow” that much money in a year on soft drinks, lattes, etc. anyway!

      1. captainobvious says:

        Do you breathe on your own? 99% of all compulsive gamblers are casino gamblers, yea because casinos are so accessible with long drives, its pulltabs, bingo, and lottery, and yeah your white right, why dont the indiands invest some those fortunes and look to the future rather than only count on casino profits…….

      2. C.dufon says:

        First of all when are we going to let the past go? Are the native americans going to be crying foul a 100 years 200 years from now? That sweetheart deal was given to them by an inept Govenor Perpich.Who in their right mind would give any group all the gambling rights forever.I’m not saying to take away the right to run a casino just open up the competition.
        It just seem unreasonable that if i go to the casino and win $2000 that I have to pay taxes but if I lose $2000 they pay little or no tax.

      3. Katie says:

        captainobvious, Yes, I am white! You know so very little about addiction, captain obviously. If you were educated on the subject, you would know that gambling addicts WILL take long drives to get to a casino just as drug addicts and alcoholics will do stupid things to get to the tools of their addictions, too. BTW, though, not all compulsive gamblers live far away from casinos. Given your display of cynicism and sarcasm, I won’t hold my breath (and, yes, I do breath on my own. LOL) that you’ll take the time to learn about addictions. You are — obviously — one of those people who believes they already know it all! If you are actually so smart, why don’t you know the ways tribes have already invested their money for the future? BTW, aren’t you even aware that the pulltabs sold by the casinos are the same ones YOU can buy at your local convenience and grocery store? The Native Americans do NOT have a “monopoly” on those, nor do they produce their own. Sheez! Educate yourself on an issue before you choose to make a fool out of yourself by your erroneous comments.

        Cdufron, YOU are the one holding onto the past! I’m not a Native American, but I’m crying foul! You’re holding onto the actions of a past governor, who you describe as “inept” Get over it! He represented the State of MN then as its elected leader and entered into an agreement on behalf of the people of the State. Besides, we, the people of Minnesota, already have a share of the gambling revenue in the form of pulltabs, bingo, table games, and the lottery. We just don’t have the slot machines! THAT is what some of you want to get in on from the Native Americans — and only because THAT is the type of game that creates the most revenue.

        The people you SHOULD be getting after are the marketing people at the Gaming Dept. at the state level. Apparently they aren’t doing a good enough job enticing people to play the scratch offs and lottery enough!

        I stand by my opinion and statements in support of it.

  2. Jack says:

    Downtown is racy enough with the wrong crowds that “hang out” there. Put a casino downtown and you’re asking for BIG trouble. Dumbest. Idea. Ever.

  3. Joe says:

    I’m with you on that Bob. I’ve been for casinos for a long time. It won’t hurt the others at all. Good competition and will employ a lot of people. I’d work for one if it was Downtown!

  4. Mary says:

    Im with Jack…just looking for trouble down in that area…..rethink your location.

  5. Jenny says:

    When I think of casinos, I think of children left in cars while the parents run in to feed their addiction, parents spending their food money on gambling and non-custodial parents missing support payments. not to mention the crimes and burglaries that will go up in the surrounding areas. BAD IDEA. we will need to double the police force. The police do not need the added burden. They can’t enforce the laws on the books due to lack of resources.

    1. Aurora says:

      That’s quite the stretch. It’s a casino for entertainment purposes and you’re bringing up the hypothetical parenting skills of strangers. You can’t control everything. I do agree that the area may not be the best but I think it’s worth a shot.

    2. Team Joe and Bob says:

      Wow Jenny, get a life. Those people may be around but it will help our state get out of debt and thats good enough for me. Also the indians have become too aggressive with thier entitlement. It is time to rethink what goes on with the gaming industry. I am with Joe and Bob

      1. Jon says:

        Don’t judge until you know someone who gambles away their life with an addiction at a casino and how it affects other people. Great for entertainment but there’s a lot of downsides as well.

      2. Katie says:

        “their entitlement”? They entered into an agreement with the State of MN for their establishment of casinos. Now that the whites see how lucrative that business is, they want a part of the action and break their agreement. BTW, I’m a white woman, but I’m embarassed by our history and continue to be embarassed each and every time that whites bring up the racino and casino thing. Didn’t we give them the shaft enough in the past??!!

    3. Dee says:

      It is anyone’s choice to gamble. If you can’t keep it in check, then you have a problem. It wouldn’t matter if there was a casino nearby or not, it’s just ONE outlet. People addicted to gambling can go anywhere to gamble, online, down the street to the pub to play pull tabs, The gas station to buy scratch-offs, a basement poker match, calling a bookie in Vegas to place a sports bet. If you gamble and can’t feed your kids or leave your kids unattended, you have a big problem. But if it wasn’t gambling at a casino, it would be gambling somewhere else or a transfer addiction. There is help for gambling addiction. Some people have more addictive personalities. We go regularly and alternately to the 3 closest to TC casino’s and play slots but have our limits. I have NEVER seen a police sting, a child in a car unattended or ANY crimes at a casino. I’ve heard of some, but those are rare events, besides, every square inch is on camera! Way less chance of a crime occurring at a casino! As far as competition, I think it would be good for all casino’s, they’d have to use creative marketing to draw people in and could entice more people to come out and try their luck as they follow the promotions. Maybe the Indian casino’s would have to loosen up a bit too! They are pretty tight these days! A state run casino would be more regulated and forced to pay out a certain percentage. There should be NO monopoly and more state funds could help other Indian tribes that are the poorest and don’t have the benefit of a casino on their reservation. Maybe some state funds could be allocated to go to tribes that don’t have casino’s. I see a lot of good could come from this including funding the Vikings Stadium. I do think the Forest Lake area would be a better spot though, or the Mall of America.

      1. Katie says:

        Dee, I can tell you know VERY little about addictions. Check with any of the treatment centers in MN that treat compulsive gamblers and you will find that 99% of those in MN became addicted at the casinos! No alcoholic starts drinking with the purpose of becoming an addict. No gambler starts gambler with the purpose of becoming a compulsive gambler. An addiction can’t be controlled any more than diahreah can be controlled!

        Learn something about addiction before you start trying to educate others on the “harmless” nature that this type of entertainment becomes for hundreds of people in MN. Their addictions cost the taxpaers plenty of money and do untold damage to families. Are you aware that the suicide rate for compulsive i.e. problem, gamblers is 20 times that of the general populaiton??

        As for the leaving children in cars: The only reason it is not prevalent is solely because everyone knows the Indians have cameras everywhere — including the parking lots. States where the casinos are right in the communities (as in Sioux Falls, South Dakota) have plenty of that type of thing going on. We just don’t hear about it because it’s in another state.

      2. Katie says:

        Dee, asking tribes to share their wealth is like asking Norwegians to share their wealth with the Swedes! You really need to learn about their social structure, etc. before putting your foot in your mouth about this subject and showing your ignorance. For instance, the payments to members of a tribe with a casino ONLY go to those members — not members of other tribes. The State of Minnesota cannot change that because they are a separate and sovereign Nation. They have the same rights of governing just like France, Mexico and Canada. PLEASE learn about these thiings before you go off making suggestions and/or stating untruths as facts.

  6. Bob says:

    I think this is a GREAT idea. It could be structured to pay for the Vikings Stadium…

  7. sad but true says:

    As long as indians are lining politicians pockets this will never happen whether its good for the state or not, as a twins season ticket holder i love it, dont care to drive 40min to indian casino to be bent over…

  8. Drink Fall Down Get Up No Problem says:

    We’re too stupid to run our own financial affairs so we’re going to punish the natives by stealing one of their few sources of revenue so they can become self sufficient. This casino would be penalizing the natives for our own incompetence in handing our financial affairs, the natives didn’t create the deficit, why do they have to pay for our stupidity? And the natives do NOT have a monopoly on gambling, gambling is provided by the state.

    1. Katie says:

      I’m a white woman (ancestors came from Europe) and I TOTALLY agree with Drink Fall Down. Actually, though, the State of Minnesota cannot tax them, etc. because they are a sovereign Nation. People tend to forget that!!! The State of MN already has a lottery and scratch offs. Maybe the poeple in our Marketing Dept. need to do a better job of marketing the gambling we already have as a State so more Minnesotans would spend more of their money on those things.

  9. Barbara says:

    Great idea…it’ll revitalize downtown and bring in much needed revenue, some of it from visitors. It’s about time the Indian-run casinos have some competition. The monopoly they have is unfair… let the free market work.

    1. You're Wrong says:

      What the EFF are you talking about??! the Indians do NOT have a monopoly on gambling!, moron!!!! There is the canterbury card room AND state gaming at many, many stores statewide. You’re greedy and want the entire bakery, not just a slice of the pie and it has ALWAYS been that way. they didn’t ask for this system, ti was forced upon them so don’t blame the victims.

  10. Problem solved says:

    Great idea the state needs the tax money and the extra jobs would be great, if you dont like the gambling then dont go, Problem solved.

    1. Disgusted says:

      So you want to steal the revenue base of the poorest people in the state to pay for your incompetence in handling your finances? Why does someone else have to pay for YOUR mistakes; pay for your own mistakes!! Man, that if EFF’d up!! Why do natives have to pay for OUR inability to govern ourselves? That is wrong and immoral on a few different levels. Fix your own problems and stop spending money you don’t have so you don’t have to steal from natives, AGAIN!!

      1. Tony says:

        I feel bad for the actual poorest people in the state, like maybe the members of the Red Lake tribe. But I’ve had enough “poorest people in the state” B.S. from the BIG 3 leadership trying to protect it’s casino monopoly. Everyone sees through it, except the politicians who’s pockets are being lined by Indian Gaming lobby money.

      2. Katie says:

        That “casino monopoly” was set in an agreement with the Indians. You must be advocating reneging on another agreement we whites have with the Indians! Didn’t we do enough of that for your liking in the 1800’s ?

  11. Jon Gilmour says:

    What amazed me while reading comments is why some people seem so game starved that they are willing to throw a casino license to the very first operator that rolls into town, and completely forgets that Minnesota doesn’t currently even offer such licenses. If the buyer of this building needed something special to make his purchase work, I’d rather have heard it before before he closed on the deal.

    Then we have folks that seem to confuse a casino with a gold mine. I can’t remember a single business thriving near the downtown casino in Duluth, and if some of you want a sample of how much glorious wealth and prosperity pours into a downtown with a casio or two, you should make a bee line to East Saint Louis. Okay I haven’t see it, because ALL those I’ve asked say it’s just not a safe place to visit.

    1. chump says:

      Your comparisons are duluth and east St. louis now thats funny. also this isnt an area that in dire need of staying alive its blocks from target field, target center and other busy spots already, i could honestly care less 1 way or another but dont care to hear about native entitlements, i wasn’t aware we stole your casinos from your ancestors..

      1. Katie says:

        Having casinos are NOT “native entitlements”!!! The State of MN entered into agreements with another sovereign nation. Would we reneg on the same type of an agreement with Canada had we made one with them just because we can’t make ends meet in MN? I think not — or at least, I hope not! That certainly wouldn’t say much for our integrity as Minnesotans, now would it??!! BTW, we stole plenty else from the Indians by reneging on agreements. You must be advocating that we continue the tradition! BTW, I am NOT a Native American. My ancestors came from Europe.

  12. Tony says:

    Shocking that the executive director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, “has real concerns,” with this plan. In breaking news the CEO of Exxon Mobile has real concerns over the viability of renewable resources.

  13. Tony says:

    Also, I might feel a little worse for the tribes who own the “Big 3” if they were a little more concerned about the tribes in the state who don’t have this massive income. Showing some compassion for the tribes who weren’t lucky enough to have land near the Twin Cities would go a long way toward me feeling like maybe we shouldn’t dip into their monopoly. As it stands they just seem like greedy business owners who don’t want a single dime of their money pit to go away.

    1. Disgusted says:

      Why don’t WE, the native’s superiors, learn how to spend within our means so we don’t have to steal the revenue base of the poorest people in the state? Where’s your sense of right and wrong? We give them casinos and then want to steal the very revenue base that keeps them open? Wow! That’s called Indian giving when you give something to someone and then take it back. Ironic? You decide.

      1. Tony says:

        Why don’t the tribes fortunate enough to have massive Indian Gaming facilities contribute to getting other tribes out of poverty? Where’s YOUR sense of right and wrong?

      2. fedupandupandup says:

        WHY then don’t the Indian tribes WITH the Casino’s give some of their huge profit to the POOR tribes that don’t have the luxury of HUGE casino profit checks? I hear the Mystic Lake beneficiaries/tribal members get $80,000+ checks every month while your fellow Natives on Red Lake are poorest of the poor, why not send some their way? Do you? Let us hear about it then.

      3. Katie says:

        Tony, you just don’t get it! The Indians have a right as a sovereign nation to decide how their nation is run. Each tribe is a separate entity, so to speak. The members that receive a PC MUST be enrolled in the tribe, and in some instances, must live on the reservation. They have the right to set out the parameters. They are a separate sovereign nation! You’re expecting wealthy tribes to help the poor ones. You understand nothing about the relationship between the tribes. You’re lumping all the tribes together as if they are one! What you’re expecting is the same as expecting wealthy African Americans who originated from Southern Africa to share their wealth with African Americans who originated from Northern Africa! Ludicrist, to say the least.

        Like I said in the beginning: You just don’t get it!!!

      4. lol says:

        pretty sure the shakopee mdewakanton finanaced all of the casinos that were built in Northern MN… They definitely financed Leech Lake and Red Lake’s. beyond that there is this:

    2. Disgusted says:

      Clearly we can’t control your OWN finances and we’re telling someone else how to spend THEIR money? Man, how messed up can you get? That’s backwards and upside down and over under and an overtly jypocritical case of Do as WE say NOT as WE do. Let;s let the natives have their casinos and WE pay for OUR msitakes and ineptitude and take responsibility for the problems OUR system created instead of stealing from others, how about that? It would be a first, we made the Iraqis pay for our WMD mistake, so there’s a history there. I have many native friends and I see how much they suffer and how much you prosper.

      1. Tony says:

        You’re just kind of rambling at this point, Champ. We aren’t going to get anywhere if you can’t admit that you were making things up when you called the members of the local tribes the poorest in the state. If I was in the tribes’ shoes I’d probably be fighting tooth and nail to retain my cash cow also. But I wouldn’t act surprised when the public stared calling me out on my BS.

      2. captainobvious says:

        rearend your an indian, stop trying to be something your not, you fear this because you know the indians can;t do anything but collect casino profits, someday this will happen and you drunk bums will be back right where you started.. ungtil then enjoy ur riches for doing nothing , lol at any1 that patronizes a casino anyway, solid investment

      3. Katie says:

        Tony, they only have a “cash cow” as you put it because the State of MN entered into an agreement with them. Now that their idea BECAME a lucrative business, people with no sense of respect for another sovereign nation want a part of it. You wouldn’t demand that of Canada, would you? Then why demand that of the Indian Nation?

  14. chimp says:

    The best part is if you look deep enough the brains behind these indian casinos, are not even native americans, i guess a stumps a stump

  15. MIKE says:


    1. Katie says:

      I guess those civic centers, hotels and resorts have to get better at marketing, now don’t they?? Your argument that casino gambling has been expanding and then linking it to conventions, etc. that the tribes host on the properties where their casinos are located is really grasping at straws! Put the blame for the lost revenue directly where it belongs: At the civic centers, hotels and resorts who apparently aren’t being operated wisely enough to attract the conventions, etc. Again, it’s all about the marketing! The Indians have outdone some of us in that area. It’s as simple as that!

  16. JB says:

    Blocked comments? Why is it that anything stated negative about the “Native Americans” is blcked? Being 1/4 native I find this behaviour offensive.

    1. Katie says:

      JB, whether or not negative statements about the Native Americans are being blocked is not something you or I can ascertain. I would be surprised, though, if WCCO would actually pay someone to monitor the comments, other than addressing those comments that have been “reported”. However, if you read the comments, you will “hear” an undertone of negatively towards the Native Americans. It’s subtle, but it’s there, just as it’s often subtle about other races, too. Minnesota Nice sometimes is just on a VERY thin surface.

      I live within 10 miles of one of the bigger casinos in MN. By the way some whites around here talk, you’d think they were held up with guns by the Native Americans when they come back from a casino night and didn’t come home with as much money as they started out with! They are angry that they lost their money, and rather than blame themselves for gambling their money in the first place, they choose to blame the Indians for getting rich (in some instances) from the gaming profit. It’s the very familiar role of not taking personal responsibility. Anyone with the IQ of a melon knows gambling games are ALL in the favor of the house! How do they think LasVegas can keep on building bigger and bigger casinos! It isn’t because they are LOSING money!!! LOL

  17. Tiny says:

    I am a native enrolled in Standing Rock and my tribe has two casinos and I never recieved a payment from them, all the chairman do is embezzle the money. I am all for a non native casino. My sons dad is a native from Mil Lacs and I tried enrolling him 6 times and he was denied every time they want to keep the enrollments low to keep getting bigger payments every month just like Mystic Lake. I say GO FOR IT AND FOR ALL U HATER NATIVES OUT THERE SCARED OF THE COMPETITION!!!!

    1. Katie says:

      It’s my understanding that IF your son’s dad is a member of the tribe, HE should be the one registering your son. It doesn’t appear that you learned what the tribe’s rules are for membership. Do your homework first. Hopefully you’ve enrolled your son in your tribe. There may come a time when your chairman is an honest person and you AND your son would receive a PC. If you haven’t taken the time to enroll him, though, he MAY not qualify when/if that time comes.

  18. Patti Zona says:

    Seems like a short term solution–a supposed quick fix with serious consequences. down the line. We need real solutions not compounding problems with bad judgment.
    Right now, we are in serious financial situations which “really” are not being addressed. Why isn’t the billions of dollars that has been squandered by corporate greed addressed. There is a solution in accountability and being responsible. We bail bail out and instead of giving back “they reward themselves.” If Minnesota cannot afford to keep the Vikings here. Step back, give them a break–if they are to leave because Minnesota cannot afford–let them go. And, when Minnesota gets it’s act together, does the right thing instead of perpetuating the rampant greed–Maybe then, Minnesota can afford to invite them back with dignity when the financial picture restored. Right now we can’t afford to invest especially at the expense of “the already overtaxed and vulnerable. We have enough casinos. But, to have a casino as a solution that is dependent on addictions–opens up a new can of sardines and it’s not good. Surely, there are better, healthier solutions that we all can support and be part of progress. No, to casinos. Yes–to addressing responsible behavior and actions. We need to get our respect back and stop honoring the all mighty dollar as the solution…

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