ST. PAUL, Minn., March 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- Today, State Senator Dave Senjem (R – Rochester) and Representative Bob Gunther (R – Fairmont) introduced legislation that will create jobs and fund economic development throughout the state of Minnesota by licensing the operation of video lottery terminals at Minnesota's two state-regulated racetracks.
Sen. Dan Sparks (DFL – Austin), chief author of similar legislation in 2010, joined his fellow lawmakers to discuss the positive impact Minnesotans will experience as a result of Racinos.
"Based on the results that Racinos have shown in other states around the country, there is no question that Racinos will be a powerful job creator for the state of Minnesota," said Sen. Senjem. "The success of similar legislation in states such as Pennsylvania shows that Racinos will provide thousands of jobs within a state's agricultural, hospitality and construction industries."
"Racino legislation is an excellent example of legislation that both sides of the aisle should be able to agree on," said Sen. Sparks. "Racinos are a proven way to create thousands of jobs statewide and make lasting investments in economic development. That's why more than 75 percent of Minnesotans expect us to join together and pass this bill."
The proposed legislation would allow the Minnesota State Lottery to operate video lottery terminals at Canterbury Park in Shakopee and Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus. The addition of video lottery terminals at racetracks that already offer several forms of gambling will make Minnesota the thirteenth state to authorize Racinos. The bill also creates the Minnesota Future Fund, which will provide dollars needed for both new and existing businesses to grow jobs and expand the state's economy. After operating expenses, the remaining revenue from the video lottery terminals would go to the Minnesota Future Fund, and to benefit the development of Minnesota's horse industry.
"The University of Minnesota once estimated that the impact of Minnesota's horse industry was nearly a billion dollars, but Minnesota's breeding and equine development investments have slipped since other states have offered a more robust purse structure for horse racing," said Rep. Gunther.
"Racinos will create jobs for grain and hay growers, veterinarians, blacksmiths, breeders, trainers and many more individuals in rural Minnesota. These are exactly the types of jobs we need to focus on creating throughout the entire state." Gunther continued, "This bill also creates the Minnesota Future Fund which will be used as the engine to spur new job creation and economic expansion for our state. Our state needs jobs and we know many states, including Iowa, are using these kinds of programs to successfully grow jobs and expand the economy."
The bill is expected to be heard in legislative committees prior to the end of March.
SOURCE Senator Dave Senjem and Representative Bob Gunther