Racino backers want to help stadium

Supporters of the well-worn plan to allow slot machines at Minnesota’s horse racing tracks say they want to be part of the solution for a Vikings stadium.

Sen. Al DeKruif, R-Madison Lake, delivered a letter to Gov. Mark Dayton’s office today signed by 24 legislators who support racino gambling. He said another seven legislators are also confirmed supporters. DeKruif says the state’s estimated share of $135 million a year could help pay back a school funding shift and pay off the bonds for a Vikings stadium. He insists that racino is not an expansion of gambling.

“It’s just an alternative,” DeKruif said. “So, it’s an alternative going to either Iowa or Wisconsin or other neighboring states, or the Indian casinos. And it gives people an opportunity to support paying back the school shift and help potentially keeping the Vikings in town.”

Racino supporters appear to be far short of the votes needed to actually pass a bill. But DeKruif said the proposal is still a work in progress, and they are trying to convince others to join the cause.

Here’s the letter:

Letter to Gov. Dayton – Racino 11-4-11_1

  • Sean Hancock

    I go on record supporting the Racino option outlined above.

    I think the Vikings and new stadium are an integral part of the quality of life that attracts vibrant young professionals to the twin cities and Minnesota. Please review the Star-Tribune story by Nicole Norfleet and David Peterson on 10/29/2011. To paraphrase, attracting and keeping vibrant young educated professionals is declining in most American cities; except for places like the Twin Cities, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. One principle reason for Mpls-St. Paul’s high ranking as a career destination includes fielding national-level sports franchises.

    The horse race track and Racino proposal has been in and out of our Minnesota news for a long time. Canterbury Downs needs more revenue to adequately support the area’s horse industry. We need the Vikings to at least maintain our place on the National Stage of professional sports activities. Payment of school bond fees is a great way to fortify Minnesota’s education support and economic future. All I see is win-win.

    The argument of too much gambling is hollow given the number of tribal casino’s scattered across the state. The reservations finally have health/medical facilities, food,clothing, housing, environmental remediation programs and economic stability – growth; they deserve from these operations.

    Revenue support for a new Stadium from Racino monies seems to me to be a reasonable way to finance this project. If person’s within the State disagree with such a plan; don’t go to the Racino.

    Duluth native.