The scramble to find a new revenue stream to pay for the Minnesota Vikings stadium has included just about every gambling-related activity known to humankind, but sadly has omitted the most-fun-to-type previously floated source of Vikings funds, racinos.
Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, and John Derus, a board member of the Running Aces harness track in Columbus, are promoting the idea of installing slot machines and additional electronic games at the state’s two tracks — Running Aces and Canterbury Park in Shakopee.
The problem with racinos — man, do I love that word, probably because it reminds me of this — remains the same: It would horn in on income currently earned by Native American tribal casinos, which would almost certainly sue. As Gov. Mark Dayton said of the racino idea last year: “Passage of racino legislation to fund a new stadium is speculative. Even if it were to pass, several years of litigation in federal courts should be expected. Proceeds from racinos could not provide the assured revenue stream to back state-issued bonds until that litigation was resolved.”
Of course, the bonds are already about to be sold, so there’d be nothing stopping the state from issuing them and then hoping that racino money would come pouring in once the litigation is over. It couldn’t work out much worse than Minnesota’s last leap of faith.