White Earth tribe to propose metro casino to help fund new stadium
February 15, 2012 — 1:51pm
Officials with the White Earth Tribe will announce Thursday morning a plan to build a metro-area tribal casino with the state that would help pay for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium.
According to the tribe's "Minnesota Wins" website, backers say the casino would generate enough revenue to pay the public's share of a new stadium without new taxes. White Earth officials say they've already secured financing for development and construction.
A news conference will be held Thursday morning at the State Capitol to provide more details.
Under the proposal to be released, revenue from the casino would be split equally between the state and the tribe, which would use it for housing,economic development, health care and education. The casino would pay property and sales taxes.
After the stadium is paid off, revenues would continue to go to the state. The state would regulate and audit the casino, which is not the case with tribal casinos generally.
Officials estimate that construction of the casino would create 2,500 jobs and that operations would create as many as 2,000 new and permanent jobs.
At a Senate hearing in December, Erma Vizenor of the White Earth Tribal Council first brought the proposal before policymakers. She said that a tribal casino adjacent to an Arden Hills stadium would raise $300 million yearly.
The White Earth reservation, located in northwestern Minnesota, is the state's largest and most populous with more than 20,000 band members. The tribe runs the Shooting Star casino in Mahnomen.
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