Minnesotans want change to gambling law

Minnesotans want end to tribal monopolyThe people of Minnesota want more choices. Not content with having twin cities, you’d imagine they’d be content with a beer other than Miller [insert name here]. Those Minnesotans want more than that though.

According to a Star Tribune Minnesota poll, 72% of adults in the state want an end to the monopoly American Indian tribes have over casino gambling. At the current time, gambling is only permitted at 18 American Indian-run locations.

37% also said that they want an “all-fronts” approach that amounts to video slots at bars, restaurants and racetracks, and “full-blown” casinos in downtown Minneapolis and at the Mall of America.

The survey took the opinions of 806 Minnesota residents by way of landline and cell phones from May 2-5.

Only last week it was confirmed that the Block E Minneapolis casino bill was still on the table. Sponsor of that bill, Rep. John Kriesel, said of the poll, “Minnesotans want choices, especially when it comes to their recreation – in this case, gambling. I think legislators should listen to that.”

Although, John McCarthy of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association countered by saying, “A lot of people don’t see the full impact of what tribal gaming has done for the economy in this state,” he said. “And so they’re misinformed. I guess that would be my bottom line.”

It’s not all-bad press for the Tribal casinos. 23% of respondents did state that the tribes should retain their exclusive hold. A casino in downtown Minneapolis does seem to be what many of the state’s residents are supporting though.

Amongst those that support gambling, 20% preferred video slots at the state’s two horse tracks, Running Aces and Canterbury Park. 12% were in favor of a downtown casino whereas 8% trumped for a megamall casino or slots in bars.