Canterbury Park Pursues VLTs

Two Minnesota legislators have filed bills that could put 1,750 slot machines at Canterbury Park and allow the track to double its purses.

The legislation, filed by Sen. Dick Day and Rep. Mark Holten, proposes that the Minnesota State Lottery operate the machines, according to the Pioneer Press. An estimated $127 million in revenue is projected for the first year of operation, with $55 million going to the state, according to a marketing study. The legislation also proposes that 6% of gaming revenue go to purses at Canterbury Park.

Canterbury president Randy Sampson told the Pioneer Press the study's projection are conservative.

"If we use more aggressive assumptions, the estimate is between $150 and $180 million,'' Sampson told the newspaper. The state could receive more than $70 million.

Even using the conservative estimates, Sampson said purses would increase by $7.62 million, more than double the present amount, and enable the track to extend its meet to 60-80 days, maybe more. Sampson said daily purses of $175,000 or more would keep Canterbury competitive with other Midwest tracks, particularly Iowa's Prairie Meadows where slot machines have substantially increased purses.