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City backs WE casino proposal

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news Detroit Lakes, 56501
Detroit Lakes Minnesota 511 Washington Avenue 56501

The White Earth Reservation continues to push its casino proposal in the Twin Cities, and the City of Detroit Lakes is giving its full support.

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Tuesday night at the Detroit Lakes City Council meeting, the council voted in favor of a resolution to support the construction and operation of a gaming facility in the Twin Cities.

The revenue from the casino would be split 50-50, with half going to the state to help pay for a new Vikings stadium, and half going back to the White Earth Reservation. White Earth Tribal Secretary-Treasurer Robert Durant met with some Detroit Lakes council members Tuesday afternoon to explain that the tribal council has worked hard on the proposal, and it's not about a stadium for them.

The 50 percent of the money that would be generated from the casino would come back to the reservation and likely be used for housing and education, he said.

"The Vikings stadium, that's their business," he said of the state portion of the funds. White Earth won't have any say in how the state uses its share of the revenue.

Durant said the tribe is trying to get support from communities in the region, not just the reservation because the stadium will impact and benefit the surrounding area as well.

For instance, he said, when the reservation has housing projects, many of the building supplies come from the region, including Detroit Lakes.

"Everyone would be affected," he said. "Let the (legislative) representatives know this will be good for everyone."

The proposed casino would offer 4,000 slot machines, 150 gaming tables and a 500-room hotel. Profits are estimated at $300 million annually.

Alderman Bruce Imholte said he was in favor of signing the resolution because Detroit Lakes has always tried to keep up communications and a relationship with White Earth and this is just one way to show support.

The motion of support passed unanimously.

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