Letter: How much money can gaming generate?The Vikings want a new stadium. Some would like to add slots at horse tracks, some have suggested a new casino in Minneapolis, and some have suggested electronic pull tabs.
By: Gary Iocco, The Republican Eagle
To the Editor:
The Vikings want a new stadium. Some would like to add slots at horse tracks, some have suggested a new casino in Minneapolis, and some have suggested electronic pull tabs.
Evidently increasing gambling is going to bring in millions of dollars and create thousands of jobs, but at what costs? Is this new money or just a redistribution of current gambling revenue? And will it hurt Goodhue County’s largest employer?
If pull tab machines are put in almost every bar or restaurant, what happens to nonprofits that receive money from current pull tab revenues?
Will the increase in gambling dollar amounts come true? If not, who makes up the difference, the taxpayers?
Why aren’t user fees part of the funding package? Sen. John Howe’s amendment to include fees was shot down. Other stadiums have seat licensing fees. Why has that not been part of the taxpayers’ contribution along with taxpayers retaining any naming rights revenue?
It seems almost all the money the Vikings are contributing may get paid back by all the revenue they get to keep — such as stadium advertising and naming rights.
The current version of the bill, and that may change numerous times, has the taxpayers responsible for any and all cost overruns. If current estimates are off by 10 percent, the taxpayers will need to figure out how to pay the $100 million additional fees.
I would like to see the Vikings get a new stadium, but not on the backs of businesses or individuals paying higher property taxes or by Goodhue County’s largest employer being harmed.
Gambling is not the knight on a white horse. If gambling is the cure, why does Las Vegas have some of the highest unemployment and home foreclosure rates in the country? Let’s not even talk about Atlantic City.
If the Vikings want a new stadium, let them pay for more, let the taxpayers be guaranteed a return on investment, and do not increase gambling.