Block E Casino: New Poll Finds Minnesotans Support Downtown Minneapolis Casino
MINNEAPOLIS, Feb. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- A SurveyUSA poll released on Sunday, February 12, found that if legalized gambling were expanded to raise money for a new Vikings stadium, 38% of Minnesotans would prefer a casino in Downtown Minneapolis. Overall, respondents favored a downtown casino over a racino almost 2-to-1, and nearly 4-to-1 over electronic pull-tabs.
"We're very pleased – but not surprised – that Minnesotans support a casino in Downtown Minneapolis," said Bob Lux, principal with Alatus LLC, the company that owns Block E, the suggested site for a downtown entertainment casino.
"A downtown entertainment gaming facility will have a limited impact on existing tribal gaming facilities," Lux continued. "Bond counsel has indicated to us that additional gaming licenses would likely be prohibited by the state until the stadium bonds backed by a Block E casino are paid off, so a proliferation of new gaming facilities would not occur. This is important to existing tribal gaming interests."
The Innovation Group, nationally recognized as one of the gaming industry's leading research and consulting firms, estimates a Downtown Minneapolis casino will generate annual revenue of $100 million for the state.
"As a state-owned gaming facility, it will be up to the state to determine how revenue from a Block E casino is allocated," said Lux.
Among the gaming options currently being reviewed by state policy and lawmakers, the stable revenue stream from an entertainment casino at Block E will provide the state's lowest borrowing cost to fund a new Vikings stadium. The downtown gaming facility would also create over 2,500 permanent jobs, 600 construction jobs, increase state tourism and add an estimated 84,000 hotel room nights a year.
"The beauty of it is that it does not cost taxpayers a dime," said state Rep. John Kriesel, who last spring sponsored a bill to authorize the expansion of the Minnesota State Lottery to include a single-site, state-owned and -operated gaming facility in Downtown Minneapolis.
Alatus LLC purchased Block E in July 2010 and introduced the idea for a state-owned and -operated casino in May 2011. Find more information at Facebook.com/BlockECasino.
KSTP is a Hubbard Broadcasting-owned ABC affiliate and broadcasts to St. Paul and the surrounding areas. About the poll: Cell-phone respondents and home-phone respondents included in this research: SurveyUSA interviewed 600 Minnesota adults 01/31/12 through 02/02/12. Of the adults, 542 were registered to vote. This research was conducted using blended sample, mixed mode. Respondents reachable on a home telephone (78% of registered voters) were interviewed on their home telephone in the recorded voice of a professional announcer. Respondents unreachable on a home telephone (22% of registered voters) were shown a visual questionnaire on their smartphone, tablet, laptop or other electronic device.
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