Pawlenty remains opposed to racinoby Tim Pugmire, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — Gov. Tim Pawlenty is re-affirming his opposition to an expansion of gambling in Minnesota, including the ongoing effort to allow slot machines at two horse racing tracks.
Last week, Sen. Dick Day, R-Owatonna, announced he was resigning to lobby full time for the "racino" proposal. Day also claimed the governor told him he would sign the bill if it passed.
Pawlenty, who was out of the country last week, told reporters Monday that he doesn't know what Day was referring to. He said expanding gambling is not the way to go.
"Some years ago, my administration proposed trying to provide some competition in the gaming area by allowing some of the northern tribes to partner with the state to compete with existing gaming interests. That proposal went nowhere, as has most other similar proposals over the years in the Legislature," said Pawlenty. "So we've said, and I would repeat, I'm not interested in going down that road again. And I've said that many times."
Racino supporters say revenue from the additional gambling could help solve the state's budget deficit, and potentially fund a new Vikings stadium.