Quoting unnamed sources, the Star Tribune’s Paul McEnroe is reporting Monday morning that Canterbury Park officials will drop their efforts to get slot machines at the track in return for massive contributions to racing purses from the nearby Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community.
The horse racing track in Shakopee has long lobbied the Legislature for the so-called “racino” bill that would expand gambling at the track from the card games now allowed by adding slot machines and other casino games.
The racino effort was opposed by Indian-run casino interests because it would cut into their profits. And tribes spent millions lobbying against the proposed gambling expansion.
Now the paper reports that, according to sources, the Shakopee tribe will “contribute tens of millions of dollars over a 10-year period to track purses in return for Canterbury officials dropping racino legislation efforts.”
The smaller Running Aces harness racing track in Columbus Township, which has also lobbied hard for the racino, is not involved in the deal, the story said.
The tribe will pay $3 million to enrich the purses at the track this summer and $6 million next year, with the amount increasing over the 10-year period of the agreement, the story said.
Higher purses for the horse races should attract more and better horses to run at the track.