The state government may not be getting a profit cut but Minnesota is sure benefitting from a vibrant tribal casino activity over the past 25 years, according to the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA).
MIGA released this week its latest report on the tribal gaming’s closely guarded finances, explaining how Minnesota benefits from tribe casinos despite not giving the state government a piece of its revenues.
Star Tribune reported that tribe casinos spurred the Minnesota tribal economies by injecting an estimated $1.8 billion in direct and indirect revenue back to the state each year, based on the information issued by MIGA.
The association, according to the report, boasts that tribal casinos have employed 13,371 Minnesotans and kept Minnesota’s economy growing by attracting 23 million visitors and channeled $482 million to other Minnesota vendors.
MIGA also claimed that the tribe casinos are the 14th-largest employer in the state — ahead of the U.S. Postal Service and just behind 3M and UnitedHealth Group — and that they have become one of the largest tourism destinations, second only to the Mall of America.
Prior Lake City Manager Frank Boyles attested to the benefits of having a tribal casino in their community. Since the opening of Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, the town has seen a steady flow of tourists. It has also employed 600 of his neighbors, according to Boyles.
In order to offset the security costs given to the casino, the Mdewakanton tribe has donated $430,000 to Prior Lake and pumps money into a variety of local causes, ranging from installing defibrillators around town to picking up the half-million dollar tab to light athletic fields at a local park.
The Prior Lake and Mdewakanton governments also have joined forces on a water treatment plant, he said, and the tribe is paying for $17 million in repairs on the county road that leads to the casino. “They are a very giving people,” Boyles said.
Grand Ronde ask US Supreme Court to stop tribe casino construction
In another tribe casino news, Oregon’s Grand Ronde tribe has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to stop the construction of a 368,000-square-foot casino of rival Cowlitz tribe in La Center, Washington.
The appeal was made almost two months after the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals denied its request on July 29.
“The council has made the decision to approve an appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court,” tribal attorney Rob Greene said. He expects to file this fall.
The petitioner claimed that it will lose 41 percent of its revenue if the Cowlitz tribe’s Ilani casino is permitted to open. Tribal officials said they are looking into other revenue sources in response to the estimate.