White Earth Proposes Metro-Area Casino to Fund Vikings Stadium


MinnesotaWins lacked policymaker support on Thursday

On February 16, the White Earth Nation pitched developing a Twin Cities metro-area casino that it would operate in partnership with the State of Minnesota. Under the proposal called MinnesotaWins, casino revenues would be split 50-50 between the tribe and the state, and would fund the entire public share of a new Vikings stadium and other critical state priorities for years to come.

While MinnesotaWins proposes a casino in the Twin Cities metro area, the exact location would be flexible and relevant to the location of a new Vikings stadium, a press release states.

The tribe estimates the operation would create up to 2,500 construction jobs and 2,000 new, permanent jobs.

"Minnesotans are growing frustrated with the many ill-conceived schemes to fund the stadium," Erma J. Vizenor, White Earth’s tribal chairwoman, said in a statement. "MinnesotaWins will provide much-needed jobs and economic development not only in the metro area but also in Minnesota's poorest areas, and provide a continued revenue source for the state. All with no new taxes. We are confident that our solution is the fairest option for all Minnesotans."

But key policymakers did not show strong support, reported the Daily Globe. The chief Minnesota House stadium proponent Rep. Morrie Lanning said a tribal-state casino could be a fall-back plan, though probably not this year. “They are not in play right now,” Lanning said.

That said, the proposal introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives by Rep. Kent Eken (D-Twin Valley) and Rep. Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) has received Gov. Mark Dayton's support.

An independent financial impact study, commissioned by the tribe, will be available in early March.