Racino bill gets back on track in House

Las Vegas Casinos Hit By Economic Downturn
Slot machines in Las Vegas.
Ethan Miller/Getty Images

A Minnesota House panel has revived a proposal to allow slot machines at two horse racing tracks.

Members of the agriculture and veterans committee quietly approved the so-called racino measure Wednesday as an amendment to a bill dealing with biomass fuels.

DFL Rep. Al Juhnke of Willmar, the committee chairman, said the proposed expansion of gambling would benefit rural economic development and other areas of the state budget.

"I don't think we should just put on blinders and pretend that these things aren't here. We have sports book gaming bills. We have electronic pull tab bills. We have racino bills. And we also have a realization by Minnesotans that we have no money," Juhnke said.

The racino bill still faces many hurdles. A Senate committee recently tabled the proposal after a single hearing.

Legislation to allow slot machines at Minnesota horse tracks has been circulating at the Capitol for 13 years.

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