In a written statement, Day said he is looking to take on new challenges.
"I have been approached by many people asking for my assistance with their issues over at the Capitol. While I enjoyed working with Racino Now and accomplished the goal of raising public awareness for the issue, I feel that it's time to take on new issues and new challenges in St. Paul," Day said.
Day, of Owatonna, served 19 years in the Minnesota Senate. For 10 of those years, he held the post of minority leader. He resigned his seat in January 2010 to become the president of Racino Now. Efforts to get lawmakers to pass a racino plan failed to gain traction at the Capitol over the past two sessions.
Rochester GOP Sen. Dave Senjem is one of the biggest champions of racinos. He sponsored a bill that would allow slot machines at the state's two horseracing tracks — Canterbury Park and Running Aces Harness Park. In a recent interview, Senjem said racino supporters are trying a new approach to win support. They are suggesting that some of the $125 million that would be raised each year by racinos could go towards helping pay back the K-12 school shift.
Senjem said that idea has a "fair amount of support" and while there are probably not enough votes to pass racino in the legislature right now, he believes linking education funding to racinos could help change that. He said he also believes racino is the only way that a deal for a new Minnesota Vikings stadium will get done.
But opposition to racinos remains from lawmakers on both the right and the left. Rep. Mike Benson, R-Rochester, is a staunch opponent of proposals to expand gambling — even if the money would go to schools.
He asked, "What are we saying? We are going to gamble with the future of our children?"