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Minnesota Legislation May Expand Gaming at Racinos, Allow Simulcasting at Tribal Casinos

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Legislation in Minnesota may pave the way for Canterbury Park in Shakopee and Running Aces Harness Park in Columbus to expand table game offerings and provide simulcasting of horse races at the state's tribal casinos, reported the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal.

The bill passed both houses of the Minnesota legislature on May 1 and now awaits Governor Mark Dayton's approval, reported Racing Daily Form.

For the first time, American Indian casino and racetrack interests have cooperated in legislation. The two parties have stood on opposing sides of racino legislation for nearly a decade, stated Racing Daily Form.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community operates the successful Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Shakopee, located not far from Canterbury Park and just 25 minutes southwest of the Twin Cities. According to the Minneapolis St. Paul Business Journal, the proposal resulted from a deal between Canterubry and Mystic Lake Casino.

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While racino proponents pushed for slot machines at the track, they were met with resistance from Indian tribes.

The measure also has the potential to raise purses at Canterbury Park by up to 40 percent, reported Racing Daily Form. It would increase the racino's maximum number of table games from 50 to 80. Player's betting limits would rise from $60 to $100. In addition, the racino would no longer be limited on the number of poker tournaments and tournament tables it could host.

The measure goes into effect a day after Dayton authorizes it, but according to the Racing Daily Form, there will be some lag time before the changes to the law are implemented. The new arrangement will require negotiations and agreements between the racetracks and tribal casinos, and infrastructure will need to be set up for the casino off-track-betting facilities. For the racetracks, expansions will be necessary to accommodate the increased number of table games.

Come the 2013 racing season, Caterbury and Running Aces expect to see $2.5 million in additional purse money.

Live racing returns to Canterbury Park on May 18.