Racetrack Gaming Bill Fails in Minnesota

Measure authorized slots for two racetracks, including Canterbury Park.

The Minnesota Senate State Government Committee March 19 voted 8-5 against a measure that would have authorized casino-style gambling, including slot machines, at Canterbury Park and Running Aces Harness Park.

It was the latest defeat for a measure that has been debated in the legislature for more than 10 years.

Supporters of racetrack casinos estimate that adding 2,000 slot machines to each of the two tracks in the Minneapolis area would produce $130 million in tax revenue for the state and revive business at the racetracks, which already operate card clubs.

“(Racetrack gaming) will live on,” said Republican Senate Majority Leader Dave Senjem, who sponsored the bill. He called the proposal “part of the Capitol fabric. I don’t think it will ever be dead.”

Lobbyist Dick Day, a former Senate Republican leader, said he and his allies are working on a revision of the proposal for future consideration by lawmakers.