ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The proposal to add casino-style gambling to at least two Minnesota horse-racing tracks gets its first committee hearing of the current legislative session.

The Senate state government panel hears the so-called “racino” proposal in a hearing Wednesday evening. Supporters say adding video slot machines at Canterbury Park in Shakopee and Running Aces in Columbus would generate $250 million in new tax revenue for the state over two years. They’ve proposed that money be used to pay for job-creation initiatives.

The racino proposal has been much-debated at the Capitol in recent years and even passed the full House once but never gotten further than that. Tribal leaders have raised concerns they could hurt business at tribal casinos.

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 This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

Comments (11)
  1. Kevin says:

    Don’t see a down side. Can’t really increase gambling problems with casinos all over the place now. Just bringing some money into state vs tribes. We shall see whos getting money from the tribes, which to me is disgraceful as they don’t represent minnesotans. They other lobbies at least represent workers, companys, etc.

    1. Mike says:

      Kevin, I guess I’m not a Minnesotan in your eyes. I’m not a Native, but my entire livelihood, like those of 41,000 people in Minnesota depends on tribal gaming. Learn the facts before passing judgement. Resist listening to “urban legends” about how Indians don’t pay taxes (FALSE), they don’t provide for any infrastructure (FALSE) or provide for their communities. Tribal gaming has provided more jobs for MN and rural Minnesota than any other economic engine. Here are a few FACTS: opening up racionos will create new multi-millionaire private owners. Money WILL be siphoned away to other states. I and my friends who work at the casino stand to lose our jobs. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community provides me with a good salary and the excellent health benefits that I need – so I am proof undeniable that the do “do things for Minnesotans” as you define them.

      1. Kevin says:

        Get a job at the Racino

      2. Up North says:

        Exactly how much of the Mdewakanton Sioux money gets spread around other MN tribes? Not one red cent! You have people on the Red Lake reservation starving but they could care less as long as they get their monthly check. The fact that you argue simply for your own personal gain, a job, is sickening.

  2. Richard says:

    I don,t think the State can turn down&250,000,000.The OTHER Casinos in this State pay nothing to the State.An as far as employment,the pay very poorly.The other States that have Rescinos are doing very well.An are Horse track would do well also,an could attrect better hourses ,and pay better for there races.Please don,t let this slip away THIS TIME.The casinos are not going to lose a dime!!!!,as they want us to believe.

  3. Jeremy says:

    THen he’d have to start fresh, probably move to a different city/house, wait for benefits like health care and such (if it will provide any, which it may not). See racino’s won’t be creating new jobs, but just moving people from one job to another job,which is not the reason they say they want to have this passed.

    1. UpNorth says:

      Wake up Jeremy,

      Do you really think that Mistake Lake will close if they have a bit of competition? competition breeds a better business

  4. Greg says:

    So what if the state creates/allows a Racnio AND Casino. Better for the state. Creates Jobs, doesn’t kill them. Creates STATE revenue more ways than one. There is gambling in this state anyway, can’t stop it now, why not tap in. or are the back pocket payoffs that great that personal greed comes first? The other casinos won’t suffer, they all have their followers and that won’t change. If the state won’t allow us to have these options, it is nothing more than GOVERNMENT SACNTIONED DISCRIMINATION in not treating all groups equal. Which is what this country is against. (Don’t let a property/territoty border fool you!) If this bill doesn’t pass I hope someone has the backing and financial ability to bring up a lawsuit for just that reason. Discrimination! State Legal costs or State Revenue. Which makes more sense? (I know some of the elected officials just don’t have a clue! and that’s the scary part.)

  5. Greg says:

    Spell check didn’t work! Sorry for the Typo’s!

  6. dee says:

    I agree, they NEED some competition to keep them honest. We have been going to the Big 3 closest Casino’s for 10 years now, We’d go 2-3 times/mo w/ our budgeted money. Up until about 2.5 years ago, we could each go w/ $100 and play for hours. about half the time we’d either win or come home even. The other half, lost, but several hours of entertainment. NOW since the economy took a turn, we drive an hour and a half, and within an HOUR, our money is GONE. We gave it a chance for 2.5 years, and now I can say they consistently & quickly just sucked our $$$, so to us, that proves it’s not just long term bad luck, that all 3 casino’s (CASH-IN-Ohs) have tightened their machines so much that you CANNOT win, hardly get bonuses anymore and when you do, very cheap payout!!! they might as well have a drive up window so you can just drive up, donate and leave w/o feeling disgusted. We heard this from LOTS of other Casino goers too. We will not go anymore! The BIG 3 here are the most dishonest unregulated casino’s around!!! Even the BIG winners you see are probably paid actors planted to win for promotional purposes! At least a State run casino would be regulated and required for a certain payback! AND would help out a larger percentage of Minnesotans! GO Racino!!!

    1. K. says:

      AMEN to that, dee!

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