A survey of Minnesota residents indicates 70% support a plan to open a racino at Canterbury Park as a means to raise revenue for the state budget.
The survey of 600 adults by Decision Resources of Minneapolis also found Minnesotans prefer using new gambling options to new sales and income taxes as a means of addressing the state's $4-billion budget deficit.
"The survey showed that support for the racino proposal has grown significantly in the past year," Dr. Bill Morris, a political science professor and author of the survey, said it a statement released by Canterbury. "Perhaps more importantly, 36% of the respondents said they strongly support the racino plan, compared to only 14% who are strongly opposed. That margin of intensity means that strong momentum is building within the public to get the racino approved."
Canterbury, located in Shakopee, has pushed for gaming for years to compete with Indian casinos. The racetrack currently has a card club but it looking to add slot machines, a horse park, and a hotel and convention center.
The survey said Minnesotans, by a 75%-4% margin, are more likely to support the racino if the proceeds are used to protect nursing homes from budget cuts. Minnesotans are also more likely to support the racino if revenues are used to assist local schools (73%-9%), protect cities and counties from cuts in local government aid (67%-10%), or back state bonds for roads and infrastructure (64%-10%).
The legislature is considering a bill to authorize slot machines at Canterbury. The measure has cleared several House committees.