White Earth Tribe Proposes Partnership with State of Minnesota for Metro-Area Casino to Fund Vikings Stadium
ST. PAUL, Minn., Feb. 16, 2012 /PRNewswire/ — The White Earth Tribe announced today that it is launching MinnesotaWins, a proposal to develop a metro-area casino that the tribe would run in partnership with the State of Minnesota. Net revenues from the casino would be split 50-50 between the tribe and the state, and could fund the entire public share of a new Vikings stadium as well as critical state priorities for years to come.
“Minnesotans are growing frustrated with the many ill-conceived schemes to fund the stadium,” said Erma J. Vizenor, Tribal Chairwoman of the White Earth Tribe. “MinnesotaWins will provide much-needed jobs and economic development not only in the metro area but also in Minnesota’s poorest areas, and provide a continued revenue source for the state. All with no new taxes. We are confident that our solution is the fairest option for all Minnesotans.”
While the intent of the MinnesotaWins proposal is to have a casino located in the Twin Cities metro area, a decision on the exact location could be complementary to the location of a new Vikings stadium.
The White Earth proposal was introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives this week (HF 2197) by Rep. Kent Eken (D-Twin Valley) and Rep. Bob Gunther (R-Fairmont) and has received Gov. Dayton’s support. MinnesotaWins offers the following advantages:
- ALL money from this solution will stay in Minnesota. Up to 2,500 construction jobs and 2,000 new, permanent jobs will be created. In northwestern Minnesota, investments in housing and economic development opportunities will generate income and jobs for the tribe and other residents of the area.
- This is the ONLY solution that is consistent with the original intent of tribal gaming. The White Earth/State of Minnesota partnership would offer true transparency because the casino would be regulated and audited by the state.
- The White Earth solution would provide the entire public share of funding for a new Vikings stadium and create new revenue for other critical state purposes, all with NO new taxes. The casino would also continue generating revenue for the state after the stadium funding is complete. In addition, this casino will pay millions of dollars in sales and property taxes every year.
The White Earth Tribe has retained experienced gaming financial advisors and is in the process of selecting a senior investment bank to finance the MinnesotaWins casino project. The Tribe has received proposals from six of the top financial firms. The financing for the MinnesotaWins casino will be secured by the cash flow and assets of the project. The White Earth Tribe will be retaining professional management to operate the casino and has also already received strong industry interest in that area.
The tribe has commissioned an independent financial impact study that will be available in early March. The White Earth Tribe and advisors have received positive feedback from investment banks that expressed confidence in investment options.
“Once our due diligence is complete, we will put forth only one fully researched and accurate estimate of the revenue this solution will produce,” Vizenor said. “This solution will be financially sound, fair to all Minnesotans and consistent with Minnesota values and priorities.”
About the White Earth Tribe
The White Earth Tribe, which calls itself Anishinaabe, meaning “the original people,” is Minnesota’s largest tribe accounting for almost 40 percent of Minnesota’s native population. It is also the state’s poorest tribe. The White Earth Reservation was created in 1867 by a treaty between the United States and the Mississippi Band of Chippewa Indians. It is one of seven Chippewa reservations in Minnesota.
Contact: Teresa McFarland
SOURCE White Earth Tribe