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Bingo, pull-tabs: Rolling the dice for stadium funding

A plan to install electronic bingo and pull-tab machines in bars and restaurants is a popular suggestion when it comes to how the state could raise the money for a new Vikings stadium. But at least one expert says it would be a big gamble. The only revenue estimates we have are based on current sales, and no one can guess how customers will react to the new games.
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A plan to install electronic bingo and pull-tab machines in bars and restaurants is a popular suggestion when it comes to how the state could raise the money for a new Vikings stadium. But at least one expert says it would be a big gamble. The only revenue estimates we have are based on current sales, and no one can guess how customers will react to the new games.

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More than 1,200 nonprofit groups generated about $80 million from paper pull-tab games in 2009. The Pioneer Press reports the state Department of Revenue predicts electronic pull-tabs would produce $72 million in new tax money. Charities are told they'll benefit from a significant tax relief, but the amount remains uncertain because it's still unclear how much of that $72 million will be needed to help finance a new NFL stadium in Minnesota.

Stadium backers search for backup funding source

Lawmakers now writing a bill to build a new home for the Vikings are looking into alternate funding sources in case revenue from gambling in bars fails to bring in the $398 million the state promises to contribute, according to the Associated Press.

House speaker: Tapping general fund for stadium if pull-tabs fall short would be 'huge problem'

Republican Kurt Zellers says he's very concerned that revenue from electronic pull-tabs won't be enough to cover the state's share of a new Vikings stadium. And the current plan would designate the state's general fund as a backup. "If (it's) taking money out of the general fund, which is schools, which is roads, that doesn't work," he says in a Pioneer Press report.

Panel approves electronic pull tabs; devices to help pay for Vikings stadium

The state's gaming control board on Tuesday said bar and restaurant patrons can begin playing new electronic pull-tab gambling games. At least two places in St. Paul, Mancini's restaurant and O'Gara's bar, planned to begin offering them immediately. State officials hope the devices – iPads loaded with gambling software – will bring in as much as $72 million to help pay the state's $350 million share of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

Minneapolis leaders say they have city council votes to approve stadium

Officials say they have support from a majority of the City Council, but lingering questions about financing and other issues mean the plan is still in question, Forum Communications reports. One key issue is how the state would pay its share of the cost. The current proposal would tap revenue from electronic pull-tabs and bingo, but some critics question whether that will cover the tab.

Electronic pull tabs are Dayton's favorite stadium funding idea so far

Plenty of options are out there for how to pay for a new Vikings stadium. The governor says his preference - so far, at least - is for electronic pull tabs. As for where to put a stadium, Dayton says he has no opinion yet.

Dayton doubts latest plan to pay for Vikings stadium

Gov. Dayton said Monday that the latest proposal to cover the state's share of a new Vikings stadium would rely on a form of illegal gambling known as tip boards. "It doesn’t strike me at first glance as a viable option," he said at a Capitol press conference.