A group of bar and restaurant owners is planning to renew its push for gambling machines in their establishments, saying it would send $630 million in profits to the state and additional money to charity.
Profit Minnesota, claiming support of 4,900 bars and restaurants in the state, said it will ask the Legislature to approve the new gambling, which would be regulated by the state.
Ever since courts allowed Indian tribes to own casinos, there have been numerous unsuccessful attempts by bar owners, Canterbury Park Race Track and others to gain permission to run slot machines or similar electronic gambling devices. Previous efforts have included promises of sending some profits to the state. But the state's projected $6 billion deficit could make future ventures more appealing to some lawmakers.
In addition to pledging money for the state, Profit Minnesota says electronic gambling in bars and restaurants could provide $230 million a year for charity. The state already regulates pull tab games in bars that direct a small share of the revenue to non-profits.