Legislature should approve state-run casino

Published 12:00 am Saturday, January 27, 2001

There is an old axiom saying, "Competition is good for business.

Saturday, January 27, 2001

There is an old axiom saying, "Competition is good for business." Perhaps in the business world no truer words have ever been spoken. It is the creation of competition and the positive effects it could have on the state of Minnesota’s economy that we believe the state legislature should approve a proposal for a state-owned casino.

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For years now the state has watched as Minnesotans spend millions of entertainment dollars each year at one of 18 casinos operated by Minnesota’s Indian tribes. This monopoly has resulted in the state not collecting millions of dollars in taxes and arguably has negatively impacted other entertainment industries.

Passing legislation authorizing the establishment of a state-run casino could result in the state realizing an annual benefit of more than $100 million in taxes. In addition, residents who frequent casinos would benefit as the state-run and Indian casinos competed against each other for business.

Opponents of a state-run casino argue the state doesn’t need more casinos and that gambling is morally wrong. While both statements may be true, the reality is that casino gambling in the state of Minnesota is here to stay and that such gaming activities only stand to increase in the future. The construction of one more, or even five more casinos, isn’t going to create a larger gambling epidemic. Those that gamble will simply have more choices of where to gamble at. All things considered, why shouldn’t the residents of Minnesota benefit from this gaming activity?

The millions of tax dollars collected could help deliver tax breaks in other areas, help with education funding, transportation funding and perhaps even the construction of other entertainment venues such as new stadiums.

Again, building a state-run casino makes economic sense for the state of Minnesota and any argument that it will further corrupt the populous of the state is just plain hogwash.