Vote delayed on e-gaming at Running Aces Harness Park

  • Updated: November 15, 2012 - 8:22 PM

Racing commission wants legal advice before ruling.

The Minnesota Racing Commission will wait another month before it decides whether to allow electronic gaming at Running Aces Harness Park.

Commissioners were intrigued by the racetrack's plan to add electronic blackjack tables to its card room, but deferred the vote until the attorney general's office weighs in on whether the devices would be considered high-tech card games or slot machines.

The state Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement division has already ruled that the devices would be illegal to install at a Minnesota racetrack. In a letter dated Oct. 30, the agency concluded that the ShuffleMaster Table Master TMS 300 blackjack tables the park wants are considered to be electronic gambling devices under current law.

Running Aces officials say they need creative ways to draw new patrons to the struggling harness track, and even a handful of the electronic blackjack tables could bring in hundreds of thousands a year to enhance purses.

Commissioner Kristine Sundberg said she liked the creativity behind Running Aces' request and said she was tempted to say, "Screw it, let's go ahead and approve it and let the legal chips fall where they may." After two and a half hours of debate, the commission voted to table the issue until their Dec. 13 meeting.

JENNIFER BROOKS

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