Running Aces Files Lawsuit Against Three Minnesota Casinos

One casino, racetrack and hotel in Minnesota, Running Aces, filed a new lawsuit against three of the stateโ€™s largest casino operators, claiming they violated the gambling regulations. In its lawsuit, the company pointed out that it currently lawfully offers a range of popular casino games, including Ultimate Texas Holdโ€™Em, Three Card Poker and blackjack, among other card games.

Running Aces named as defendants three of the largest casinos in Minnesota, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe-owned Grand Casino Hinckley and Grand Casino Mille Lacs as well as the Prairie Island Indian Community-owned Treasure Island Resort & Casino. The defendants, the company said, offered Class III gaming activities, such as card games, in violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988.

In its legal complaint, Running Aces acknowledged the strong position each of the three casinos holds, adding that they โ€œfight to preserve their dominance.โ€ The company said that the trio has been continuously trying to block efforts by Running Aces to grow its offering.

At the same time, Running Aces claimed that the three leading casino operators have โ€œvastly expanded their own gaming operations in blatant disregard of clear criminal prohibitions.โ€ The racetrack cites requirements under IGRA between the three casinos and Minnesota which requires them to limit casino games to blackjack and slot machines.

An Illegal and Unfair Competitive Advantage

Describing the alleged breaches, Running Aces said that Treasure Island Resort & Casino breached its gaming compact in the period before October 2023. This is when the operatorโ€™s license was amended to include Class III card games.

On the other hand, two Grand Casinos currently offer Class III card games, including Three Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Holdโ€™Em, although such games are missing from their tribal-state gambling compact, claimed Running Aces in its lawsuit. Ultimately, the company said that the โ€œviolations have given defendantsโ€™ casinos illegal and unfair competitive advantages over Running Aces.โ€

โ€œAll that we have ever sought was to be treated fairly, compete on a level playing field, take advantage of improvements within the pari-mutuel environment, and operate without fear of being eliminated.โ€œ

Taro Ito, CEO of Running Aces

Taro Ito, Running Acesโ€™ CEO, revealed that the company wants to grow and operate in a market that is fair. He added that the racetrack wants to compete with others on a level playing field without concerns about the potential of being eliminated. Finally, Ito said that Running Aces wants to present its concerns and facts and let a court decide on the outcome.