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Minnesota Gambling Proposal Makes Annual Debut

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ST. PAUL¬† (AP) — Two veteran Republican lawmakers from southern Minnesota are the chief sponsors of the latest bill seeking to allow horse racing tracks to install video slot machines.

The push to expand casino-style gambling has been regularly stymied at the Capitol. Supporters are counting on a different reception this year, in part because of the state’s severe budget problems.

Sen. David Senjem of Rochester and Rep. Bob Gunther of Fairmont are sponsoring the plan. But the debate usually cuts across party lines.

A news release promoting the bill says it would authorize the Minnesota Lottery to operate slot machines at existing horse tracks in Shakopee and Columbus.

Democratic Gov. Mark Dayton says he is open to gambling proposals that could bring in money for state needs. But he has been cool to suggestions that money aid stadium construction.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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