On June 4, 2012, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community and Canterbury Park Holding Corporation announced a ten-year cooperative marketing agreement. Highlights of the new agreement include:
Further information regarding the cooperative marketing agreement was filed by Canterbury Park with the U.S. Securities & Exchange Commission.
“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.”
“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 Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux are very happy to be entering into this ten-year alliance,” said Stanley R. Crooks, chairman of the SMSC Business Council. “We believe it’s a good agreement with advantages to both parties. It protects the horse industry in Minnesota and lets us all focus on the broader interests that we share. It continues our tradition of community involvement with our neighbors. We look forward to what these two excellent enterprises will accomplish over the next decade.”
The agreement is subject to approval by the Minnesota Racing Commission which is expected to take up consideration of the matter later this month. Until the agreement is endorsed by the nine-member commission, the parties will have limited engagement at the staff level for planning purposes.
Sampson said that the agreement, if approved by the Racing Commission, would provide a much-needed boost for Minnesota horse racing:
“At Canterbury Park, one of our key objectives has been supporting and growing Minnesota’s horse industry,” Sampson said. “We’ve explored a number of ways to achieve that goal, but SMSC’s commitment to enhancing racing purses and joint marketing provides the best solution for this state.”
From the tribe’s perspective, the agreement is significant because it takes the racino issue out of play for future legislative sessions and allows the SMSC to maintain services to its members and jobs for its 4,100 employees without the annual threat to expand gambling at the tribe’s expense.
The agreement was signed by Chairman Stanley R. Crooks and Randy Sampson on June, 4, 2012, in the Tower Board Room at Mystic Lake Casino Hotel. Later that day both Edward Stevenson and Randy Sampson addressed the media at Canterbury Park.