After years of conflict between the horse racing industry and the tribal casinos in Minnesota, governor Mark Dayton recently signed legislation that settles some of the questions between the rival gambling concerns.
The new bill will allow the tribes to offer off-track betting for the state’s Canterbury Park and Running Aces Harness Park, and the tracks get to expand the number of their card tables and increase the maximum wagers. The maximum bet at the tables will increase from the current $60 up to $100. The cardrooms would also be able to hold more tournaments.
The death of racino legislation that would have allowed slot machine gambling at racetracks has to be a bitter pill to swallow for the industry, but they do at least now have the benefit of higher visibility for their racing operations through the eventual addition of off-track betting at the state’s tribal casinos. The hope is that this will stimulate higher purses for the races and help the ailing industry survive.
Most of the table game provisions of the new law went into effect immediately upon signing by the governor, while the off track betting additions will take some time to implement.