06/04/2012 6:42PM

Canterbury Park, Sioux form pact


\SHAKOPEE, Minn.  -  Canterbury Park the and Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux have come to a 10-year agreement that will provide millions of dollars in purse enhancements for the track while providing the Sioux with security from a possible racino at the track. The two entities announced the agreement at a joint press conference Monday

Under the provisions of the agreement, the Sioux community will contribute $2.6 million in purses in 2012, an additional $5.3 million in 2013, and further increase its purse enhancement payments to a maximum of $8 million annually from 2018 through 2022 for a total of $75 million over the life of the agreement.  Additionally, Canterbury will receive $8.5 million over the term for joint marketing programs. Canterbury Park has agreed to drop its pursuit of a racino and will join the Sioux in opposing expanded gaming that isn't already approved for the racetrack.

"This is a great day for Minnesota horse racing and for our two organizations," said Randy Sampson, Canterbury Park's president and chief executive officer. "We view this agreement as the milestone that will mark the rebound of Minnesota horse racing and our local equine industry. If approved by the Minnesota Racing Commission, this partnership sets aside longstanding political differences over gaming and allows us to devote our attention and resources to great racing and rebuilding a prosperous horse industry in Minnesota. We're very excited to explore the many possibilities this agreement creates for both organizations, our communities, the Twin Cities, and Minnesota."

With the racetrack and the Sioux-operated Mystic Lake Casino located only four miles from each other, there is the opportunity to market the region as a gambling and resort destination.

"There's a natural synergy between Canterbury Park and Mystic Lake Casino Hotel that we're very enthusiastic about developing," said Edward Stevenson, president and chief executive officer of the SMSC Gaming Enterprise, which operates Mystic Lake. "Add that factor to our physical proximity to one another, and it becomes evident how we can help one another with marketing, promotions, events and more. We think this partnership will further identify the southwest metro area as the premier entertainment and gaming destination for Minnesota and the Midwest while providing significant financial support to horse racing at Canterbury Park and much-needed stimulus to the Minnesota equine industry."

The impact of the agreement on purses will be immediate following approval by the state's racing commission:  30 to 35 percent retroactive to the first day of the 2012 meet. The lowest purse level at the racetrack will increase from $7,000 to $9,000.  Statebred maiden special weights will increase from $18,000 to $25,600 while open maidens will increase from $14,500 to $20,000.  Most stakes races will be enhanced by the agreement, including the Northbound Pride Oaks (to be worth$75,000), the Minnesota Oaks and Minnesota Derby ($65,000), and the flagship Lady Canterbury Stakes ($100,000).

The Minnesota Racing Commission is scheduled to take up the agreement at its next scheduled meeting on June 21.

Tom More than 1 year ago
Racino would have been a bust. Mystic is the top dog casino in the indian gaming world,I never got why Canterbury put taking on Mystic in their radar, Two casinos off the same exit would have meant bust for a Racino. This is the best solution for the gambling dollars that come off Hwy 169 n canterbury road If Mystic wanted to put a card room In and totally break Canterbury they could have, yet Canterbury being anti-mystic all these years never made sense to me
Tom Healy More than 1 year ago
This is precisely the kind of deal that ought to be done at racetracks across the country. Far too often tracks lose their focus on horse racing as their casino operations grow. In the process, they lose sight of the reason they were granted casino privileges in the first place: to enhance the horseracing industry. Canterbury Park will be receiving purse payments beginning next year that will more than double purses from 2011 levels and move up from there. This is a huge win for the local industry without the distraction of an expanded casino operation consuming the racing facility. This agreement allows each party to do what it does best. Canterbury's horse racing experience is among the best in the country and will now get better. Most racetracks that become casinos compromise the racing facility so much that it becomes an orphaned afterthought that might as well be shuttered.
jack brandt More than 1 year ago
Some agreement. Two antiquated dinosaurs of gaming joining forces to celebrate protectionist monopolies through political payoffs and screwing the customer. When will this un-American practice be stopped once and for all?
Vince Lentini More than 1 year ago
What is more American than screwing people over.........see Bain Capital
Bob Thompson More than 1 year ago
who is getting "screwed over"?
Joe Rockhold More than 1 year ago
Great point - who are the customers that are getting screwed? I am a customer of Canterbury Park and I can tell you it sure isn't me. I am thrilled with the prospect of seeing much better horses, trainers, jockeys, exc. I don't see a loser in this agreement. Maybe I missed something?
Bob Thompson More than 1 year ago
Joe, you didn't miss anything. This is a fantastic deal for Canterbury. The state benefits by having a revitalized breeding industry and all the jobs that go with it. Another track offering more than 200K daily at a nice facitlity with a beautiful turf course is certainly a big win for bettors.