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Minn. Gov. Dayton: Gaming Profits Would Have To Go To Public, Not Private Interest

Published: February 3, 2011 12:09 pm ET

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Racino Now, the pro-racino group led by former state Senator Dick Day, has made its wish for expanded gaming in the state of Minnesota clear. Now, Governor Mark Dayton has let his feelings be known.

According to an article by the Star Tribune, Gov. Dayton has said that he is open to the possibility of racinos, but that he has 'strong thoughts' on the use of the proceeds which would be generated from them.

The National Football League's Minnesota Vikings are in need of a new stadium, and one of the ideas which had been offered was that proceeds from a racino -- or racinos -- could go toward the construction of such a facility.

The report has quoted Gov. Dayton as saying, "The racino has the advantage of being ready to go (but) the disadvantage that it's the two private operators and I'm frankly not interested in expanding gaming for the purpose of private profit. If we are going to expand gaming I want those dollars to go into the public coffers to support school children."

As the article explains, Gov. Dayton said that he does not want proceeds from expanded gaming to go toward the creation of a new home for the Vikings. "If there is going to be any expansion of gaming it has got to go for the purposes that we can support as the citizenry and that to me is, first and foremost, a better education for all of our children," he said.

In regard to whether the topic of expanded gaming would be part of legislation session negotiations, Gov. Dayton said, "If the Legislature wants to open that door, I'm willing to discuss possibilities with them but my requirement would be that the proceeds from any kind of expanded gambling would go to the benefit of the people of Minnesota and not to a private interest."

(With files from the Star Tribune)

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