To the Editor:
In an effort to solve the Minnesota Vikings stadium funding woes as well as to provide new revenue to state government, I support racino legislation that would allow slot machines at Minnesota's horse tracks.
Racino is our best hope of paying the state's portion of the Vikings stadium without tax increases. I was never interested in using tax dollars to pay for stadium construction, but Gov. Dayton wanted this to happen with e-pulltabs and didn't research how poorly they fared in Iowa. E-pulltabs didn't work in Iowa, and they aren't working in Minnesota either.
In Minnesota, e-pulltabs are approximately 95 percent short of projections we received during the stadium push. Previous estimates found that slots at Minnesota tracks would generate $150 million per year in Minnesota and create another $400 million in economic impact for the state.
In the past, racinos have been strongly opposed by Minnesota's Native American tribes, which have been successfully operating casinos for many years.
Nowhere in Minnesota's Constitution does it say our tribes should have an exclusive monopoly on gambling revenue.
This racino legislation would help our ag industry, give many Minnesotans a good paying job, and make the horse industry viable once again while solving our stadium's revenue collection problem.
State Rep. Bob Gunther,