Editorial: Time may be right for racinosOn Monday, several Republican lawmakers announced their support for the introduction of slot machines at Minnesota’s two horse-racing tracks.
By: Daily Globe, Worthington Daily Globe
On Monday, several Republican lawmakers announced their support for the introduction of slot machines at Minnesota’s two horse-racing tracks. The so-called “racino” push is nothing new for the Legislature, but considering the state’s budget woes, such a measure may enjoy enough support for passage this time around.
Proponents — one of which is District 22B Rep. Rod Hamilton, R-Mountain Lake — say racino money would result in the dedication of at least $125 million per year for job creation. That would be done through a special “Minnesota Future Fund,” the Star Tribune reported.
Hamilton, who serves as chair of the House’s agriculture committee, sees racinos as good for the state’s horse industry, the Daily Globe reported Tuesday. And in expressing his support for the bill, District 57B Rep. Denny McNamara, R-Hastings, said his constituents don’t think it’s right that only American Indian casinos can profit from slots.
The bill currently faces a couple of obstacles. GOP Chairman Tony Sutton and other Republican legislative leaders oppose any new revenue for state government, including gambling. Additionally, the bill proposed Monday isn’t sitting entirely well with representatives from Running Aces (one of the two horse-racing tracks), who say they believe the proposal is better for Canterbury Downs (the other; both are located in Twin Cities suburbs).
We remain to be convinced that a balanced budget can be achieved without at least some new revenue. The racino idea is certainly one that merits serious consideration.