Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and Canterbury Park sign simulcast management agreement
WALKER — The Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe (LLBO) and Canterbury Park Holding Corporation (CPHC) announced they have signed a management agreement that, subject to regulatory approvals, would allow LLBO to offer simulcast wagering on horse races from throughout the world at the Northern Lights Casino Hotel and Events Center in Walker.
Northern Lights Casino is part of the Leech Lake Gaming Division, which also owns and operates Palace Casino and White Oak Casino.
The Minnesota Horsemen’s Benevolent And Protective Association, the Minnesota Quarter Horse Racing Association and LLBO also signed a purse fund contribution agreement that will use simulcast wagering revenue from Northern Lights to increase live racing purses at Canterbury Park.
“There is significant interest in live horse racing in northern Minnesota, so we see a great opportunity to meet customer demand and continue to support our mission of community development,” said Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe Chairwoman Carri Jones in a news release. “We are thrilled to create these agreements with Canterbury Park and the organizations that represent world-class thoroughbred and quarter horse racing.”
These agreements are the first of their kind in Minnesota. Legislation passed in 2012 established the framework that enables LLBO and other sovereign nations currently authorized to conduct gaming under a tribal-state compact to receive telecasts of horse races for simulcast wagering purposes from Canterbury Park and other tracks around the world.
“This agreement will bring the excitement of live horse racing to northern Minnesota, which has a long history of supporting breeding, farming and other industries that make the Minnesota horse industry thrive,” CPHC President Randy Sampson said. “Providing simulcast management services to the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe will increase exposure to racing and increase Minnesota’s live racing purses.”
Under the five-year agreement, the maximum length allowed by the 2012 legislation, LLBO will be solely responsible for simulcast operations within their casino. Canterbury will provide management and consulting services to LLBO that are necessary for simulcast wagering on thoroughbred and quarter horse races, including obtaining telecasts, wagering equipment, marketing and accounting.
This agreement between LLBO and CPHC is only the first step required for simulcast wagering to be offered at Northern Lights Casino. The management agreement requires the approval of the National Indian Gaming Commission and the Minnesota Racing Commission, with regulatory discussions expected to begin soon.