May 15, 2024 3 min read

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Running Aces Expands Lawsuit Against Tribal Casinos

On May 14, Running Aces submitted an amended complaint, broadening the scope of its original lawsuit targeting Grand Casino Hinckley, Grand Casino Mille Lacs, and Treasure Island Resort & Casino

Minnesota casino, racetrack, and hotel Running Aces has recently amended its federal lawsuit and added Mystic Lake and Little Six Casinos, owned by the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community. Running Aces has accused tribal casinos of offering unauthorized video games of chance in violation of federal and state laws. 

Running Aces Alleges Illegal Advantage in Tribal Casinos’ Gaming Activities

Running Aces filed the amended complaint on May 14 expanding the scope of the initial lawsuit against Grand Casino Hinckley, Grand Casino Mille Lacs, and Treasure Island Resort & Casino. According to the legal action, Running Aces alleges that the casinos along with the newly added Mystic Lake and Little Six have an illegal and unfair advantage because they are hosting unauthorized gaming activities, reported the Star Tribune.

Taro Ito, the CEO and President of Running Aces, underlined the gravity of the situation by saying: “For decades, tribal casinos and certain politicians have been falsely perpetuating that they are entitled to an exclusive right on gaming in the State of Minnesota, including electronic video games of chance. To the contrary, under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 (IGRA), which is a federal law, such an exclusive right is in fact prohibited.”

He further added that the current legal regulations in the state of Minnesota specifically prohibit the playing of electronic video games of chance for any person.

The legal battle has become even more intense as Running Aces is not only looking for a court injunction but has also filed for unspecified monetary damages that the company is seeking from the executives of the targeted tribal casinos.

According to the filed lawsuit, through their offerings of Class II video slots and other video games, the respondents have violated both state compact agreements and Minnesota criminal law.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community responded to the lawsuit by defending the legality of its gaming operations. The tribal operator denounced Running Aces’ claims as baseless. It also accused the horse racing track of tarnishing the reputation of tribal gaming. 

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community confirmed that all gaming offerings at Mystic Lake and Little Six Casinos comply with tribal, federal, and state laws.

This legal clash comes on the backdrop of a broader debate in Minnesota’s legislature over the expansion of gambling, which is focused mainly on sports betting and Historical Horse Racing (HHR). As part of the debate, tracks like Running Aces and Canterbury Park have expressed concerns that they are being sidelined in legislative discussions.

Author

Silvia has dabbled in all sorts of writing – from content writing for social media to movie scripts. She has a Bachelor's in Screenwriting and experience in marketing and producing documentary films. With her background as a customer support agent within the gambling industry, she brings valuable insight to the Gambling News writers’ team.

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