Could racinos help end budget logjam?

  • Article by: ERIC ROPER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: June 29, 2011 - 7:46 AM

Gambling opponents say slot machines should not be used to fix state deficit.

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citypersonJun. 28, 1110:16 PM

Let's stop mentally and physically abusing horses period.

drew5209Jun. 28, 1110:29 PM

These facilities should absolutely be a part of the solution. All Minnesotans deserve to see some revenue from casino gaming and these facilities would ensure that be the case. Whether the money is used to cut taxes in other areas or fund new education programs, it doesn't matter. The fact is that other states are benefitting from casino gaming and the citizens of Minnesota are not. This is putting our state at a competitive disadvantage when compared to others. This isn't a partisan issue, the people (and member of both parties) support it, now is the time to get it done.

oberschutzeJun. 28, 1110:35 PM

Just what the state needs, another place for poor people to piss away their money. Don't we have enough gambling outlets already? State should just renegotiate the compact with the Native Americans and allow them to continue operating as today, but with a small percentage going to the state.

tatehiyuJun. 28, 1110:37 PM

only deal making, does not raise any revenue for the states 30 plus Billion budget, but looks to enrich a select group and put thousands out of jobs. will take from the existing job pool distribute in lesser (benefits) jobs and will cause major layoffs, will break the agreements made by the state and put the burden on the outstate where jobs sorely needed will be lost.

rangelaborerJun. 28, 1110:47 PM

Do it already. You tax other vices such as smoking and alcohol why not gambling? It's just as much a vice as the other two. It won't stop the people who are already throwing away their money The whole of Minnesota should benefit from people spending their money so frivolously!

asmithe2Jun. 28, 1110:59 PM

The problem with this scheme is that the litigation, regardless of outcome, would likely prevent the state from realizing any revenue in the budget cycle it claims to be helping fix. So, if this passes, it is nothing more than republicans wanting to hurt Indians and Mark Dayton letting them do it.

lgren5735Jun. 28, 1111:22 PM

Of course the Tribes oppose Racinos! Why would they want to lose a lucrative monopoly? This has nothing to do with adding a new venue to take the poor's money. The Tribal casinos are already here ( and very close to Canterbury Park) so another casino is just another choice for those that already gamble. Mystic increases the number of machines it has constantly and no one complains. They even bus the poor out to the track! Racinos would force the tribal casinos to compete in a free market. And probably it would force them to loosen their machines to closer match the national averages. They are presently not regulated. Save the tracks and save the Minnesota equine industry and all the jobs the industry supports.

LandsharkJun. 28, 1111:30 PM

Let's see...slots in bars equals $600 million a year for the state vs $125 million for racino. I say put 5 machines in the bars and let them buck.

asmithe2Jun. 29, 1112:25 AM

The state has eleven unique tribes. These tribes own eighteen casinos. How is eleven separate companies competing against each other, the lottery, pulltabs and the horse tracks/card clubs in any way a monopoly? Can I sell lottery tickets out of my garage? No. Can I open a horse track or start a card club? No. Indian gaming isn't a monopoly. It's a regulated industry like all the others in the state. And to argue that payouts would change is laughable. Payout percentages are mandated by federal law. They can't pay out more (or less) than they already are. Lots of lies are being spread to make this palatable. The bottom line is, the money from a racino would never hit the books in this budget cycle, so let's not pretend this is an option that would prevent shutdown. It isn't.

hugonaughtJun. 29, 11 1:04 AM

I am always shocked about how little people know about gaming in this state. I live within an hour of 4 casinos and I can tell you they compete for my business with a passion. Saying that Indians have a monopoly on gaming is like calling all no whites black or Minneapolis and St. Paul the same city. These are separate and distinct tribes as recognized by the federal government. As for loosening the machines they operate with in the pay back ranges set in the state compact which you can find on the State Gaming Control web site. Casinos are regularly inspected by the state and Chi Square tests are run to see that the payouts meet compact guidelines. If you look at the compact and look at the publicly reported casinos and racinos you will see that the payback to the gamer from those casinos is less. Why? Because they pay taxes and they don't take it out of profit, they take it out of payouts. If the racino or down town casino are passed it will take good paying jobs with healthcare out of rural Minnesota and create jobs in the metro area where the cost of living is higher but not the pay. The racinos will also subsidize a dying sport racing really you want to continue that for the 147 or fewer owners that had foals this year. The old saying in racing is "if you want to make a small fortune in racing start with a large fortune." The racino has had three state subsidies and "special rules" and it still can't make it. Let it go.


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