Racino Legislation Does Not Include Hibbing Raceway Amendment

By KBJR News 1

April 26, 2012 Updated Apr 26, 2012 at 6:38 PM CDT

(Northland's NewsCenter)---With racino legislation back on the table as a means to help fund a Minnesota Vikings stadium, many are left wondering what that could mean for the proposed Hibbing Raceway.

The Senate Finance Committee decided to use racino-slot machines at Minnesota's two horse racetracks to help support that stadium.

But the bill does not include allowing electronic slot machines at a proposed Hibbing Raceway.

Iron Range lawmakers had asked for an amendment that would have allowed the Iron Range to move forward with plans to build a $40 million racing complex in Hibbing.

But Iron Range Representative Carly Melin believes that will be a moot point because she feels there are too many lawmakers opposed to state gambling expansion to allow the funding measure to pass.

"Now if for some reason it were to move forward with racino in there, I and perhaps Senator Tomassoni, would try to insert, would try to amend the Vikings stadium to include the Hibbing Racino site," Melin said. "But I anticipate that it will not be part of the package."

If Iron Range lawmakers are successful in inserting the amendment the bill would change the racing season and give Hibbing a preference in the licensing process.

The bill will now be heard in the Senate Taxes Committee.

Jennifer Walch
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