Rob Hahn, who’s challenging endorsed Independence Party candidate Tom Horner in the Aug. 10 governor’s primary election, needs to take some gambles to increase his visibility and name recognition, so today he proposed that Minnesota start up a riverboat gambling operation and use the proceeds to help the state budget.
His plan, which could include an Indian tribe partner, would put at least six boats on the river working out of Minneapolis and/or St. Paul, Hastings, Red Wing, Wabasha, Winona and La Crescent. Other cities like St. Cloud as well as waterways could be added in the future.
He says it would add 3,000 jobs and generate $400 million to $600 million a year for the state, city and county coffers. It would also increase tourism.
“The main priority is to find a way to get riverboat gambling going and use the new sources of revenue to benefit as many Minnesotans as possible,” Hahn said. “Everything must be on the table and everything is negotiable.”
Hahn also has proposed a “fat tax” on fast-food restaurants and the expansion of the racino concept to include auto racing tracks.