Sampson: Simulcasting would help casinosExactly one week after Curtis Sampson attended a $125-a-plate gala dinner inducting him into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame, he attended a different kind of get-together.
By: Sarah Gorvin, The Republican Eagle
Exactly one week after Curtis Sampson attended a $125-a-plate gala dinner inducting him into the Minnesota Business Hall of Fame, he attended a different kind of get-together.
Last Thursday morning, the chairman of the board of Canterbury Park in Shakopee, Minn., spoke to Red Wing’s Golden K Kiwanis about not only his induction but also recent legislative changes that affect horseracing in Minnesota.
Toward the end of this past legislative session, Gov. Mark Dayton signed into law a bill that included provisions allowing the 18 Native American casinos in Minnesota to contract with Canterbury to simulcast horse races. This means bets could be placed at casinos, and gamblers would no longer need to be at the track to place bets.
“While it would cost us some, it would provide another attraction for each of the casinos and they would make some money off that as well,” Sampson said.
However, Treasure Island Resort & Casino won’t be one of them, casino spokeswoman Cindy Taube said.
“At this point in time, we do not have any plans to participate in that,” she said.
Before Sampson bought Canterbury in 1994, competition from nearby casinos had led to the track shutting down, he said. This new arrangement would allow the casinos and the track to work together, Sampson contends.
“Probably more important to us is that it would establish a business relationship,” he said. “Instead of adversarial, it would be friendly.”
Sampson said that some Minnesota casinos are already working to set up simulcasting.
But Taube cited a general lack of interest from the casino’s patrons, adding that the casino has not received requests to set up the service.
“Because it’s probably not what our guests are asking or looking for, we wouldn’t want to configure the floor space to accommodate something that has a very small audience,” Taube said.
Still, that doesn’t necessarily mean the legislative changes won’t affect local residents. Dan Mjolsness, the Golden Kiwanis member who invited Sampson to speak, said many Red Wing Kiwanis members list horseracing among their hobbies.
“There is a lot of interest with the (members) because a lot of them go to the races,” he said.