Opposition mounts to racino/Vikings proposal

17 December 2009

Opposition is growing in response to Senator Dick Day’s proposal to pay for a new Vikings stadium by authorizing racinos at Canterbury Park and Running Aces Harness Track.In a December 11 commentary in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Twin Cities attorney and Republican activist Andy Brehm wrote, “Dick Day’s proposal to pay for a stadium with proceeds from a racino sounds painless, but would in fact be very damaging.”

Brehm warned that increasing access to gambling at the state’s racetracks would carry “dramatic social costs.” He noted the difference between recreational gambling at destination resorts and the gambling that would occur at local racinos, where “gambling addicts would have easy access to their vice and where those without the means to buy a plane ticket could still bet the family paycheck.”

Brehm also questioned the wisdom of funding a Vikings stadium when more pressing priorities loom before the 2010 Minnesota Legislature.

“As we face a prolonged recession, looming budget deficits and historic unemployment, now is not the right time for the state to be paying for professional stadiums,” he concluded. “If legislators feel differently, they should do it the Minnesota way, the open and honest way–raise taxes or cut spending.”