Tribes argue against new state gambling for stadium

Minnesota’s American Indian tribes are fighting proposals to use state-run gambling to help fund a new Vikings football stadium.

The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association says its casinos employee 20,550 people, mostly from rural Minnesota. Combined, that makes it the sixth largest state employer, behind state and federal governments, Mayo Clinic, Target Corp. and Allina Health System.

Executive Director John McCarthy of the gaming group said that is a good reason for the state to avoid any actions that might put tribal jobs at risk.

In recent days, a few trial balloons have been floated to allow racetracks or other Twin Cities-area locations to add slot machines, with some proceeds going to help finance a stadium.

“The numbers are very clear: MIGA jobs are a huge factor in Minnesota’s economy, especially in rural areas,” McCarthy said. “The state should be looking for ways to preserve and protect those jobs, not put them at risk with bad policy decisions.”

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