RACINO legislation will grow the equine industry through the creation of the Equine Development Fund. (EDF) The racetracks will equally contribute to this fund through statutory payments from a portion of video lottery terminal revenue. The Minnesota Racing Commission will be charged with distributing this fund in a manner that maximizes the economic impact of Minnesota's racing and non-racing equine industries.
- Purse Enhancement Program will be used to augment purses for live races at the tracks. This plan would make Minnesota's Standardbred and Quarter Horse racing programs among the top 10 in the country and the Thoroughbred program among the top 15 in the country measured by average purse per race.
- Minnesota Breeders' Fund Program will supplement the current Breeders' Fund for all breeds racing at a Class A facility. Money in this fund will be used to encourage breeding in the state through purse supplements, county fair grants and more.
- Non-racing Equine Program will be a grant program for all non-racing horse groups. Approximately $1.7 Million per year will be available to fund projects such as, but not limited to, equine shows, education, therapeutic riding, construction of facilities and trail improvements.
Racinos will improve Greater Minnesota's economy. Fourteen states already have Racinos, and the results are impressive.
A substantial increase in equine agricultural industry employment and economic activity has occurred. Indiana authorized Racinos a mere three years ago, and the industry now generates $2.6 billion in economic impact , more than double the amount prior to the Racino. They also created 20,000 new jobs. Pennsylvania experienced even greater employment with 64,000 new jobs and $4.6 billion in economic impact. This was an increase of 318 percent when compared to the pre-Racino value of the industry. These are permanent jobs that drive the agricultural economic engine. More horses require more veterinarians, trainers, farriers, and new horse horse farms. They will in turn require more hay, grain, and horse transportation. In 2004, Minnesota's equine industry was estimated at $930 million. According to Professor Brian Buhr of the University of Minnesota, increased racing purses and investing in horse shows for non-racing breeds are the best ways to increase this value in Minnesota.
Racinos create a stable revenue source for infrastructure, economic development, education or other critical state needs. Based on the fiscal note prepared by the MMB, in FY 2015 $120 million will be deposited in the Minnesota First Fund, with another $13 million transferred to the State's General Fund. This provides enough revenue to repay up to one percentage point of the school shift each year, as well as fund the public share of a Vikings stadium.
Go here to review the full proposal:
Help the cause by writing a letter to MN State Governor Mark Dayton by going here: