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House leader suggests wide-ranging gambling changes

Posted by: Jim Ragsdale under Gov. Mark Dayton, Minnesota legislature, Democrats, Republicans Updated: April 16, 2012 - 3:17 PM

Assistant House Majority Leader Tim Kelly, R-Red Wing, says he sees a way of getting out of the state's impasse over new gambling ventures.

Kelly introduced a bill on Monday -- as this two-year legislative session is in its last weeks -- that would attempt to create racetrack "racinos" that tribal gaming interests could support. It would create new agreements with tribes to allow additional games at tribal casinos, would establish racetrack "racinos" but allow the tribes to help run them; and would provide tax benefits for charitable gambling.

"It seems like a win-win-win-win down the road for a lot of groups," Kelly said.

Kelly admitted it is unlikely the bill will be seriously considered, but said he wanted to "start the conversation" about ways that tribes, racetracks and charitable gambling groups could work together.

The bill, House File 2999, contains these elements:

-- Empowering the governor to negotiate an additional "compact" with Indian tribes that would allow new games, including roulette, baccarat, and simulcasting of horse racing, with revenues shared between the state and tribes.

-- Establishment of racetrack "racinos" run by the tribes and the state, with funds shared by the tribes, the state and the racetracks.

-- Use of some of the new revenue to provide tax relief for charitable gaming operations.



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