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Dayton on e-pulltab flop: 'we were terribly wrong'

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By now, it's a well-known fact that the plan to fund the state's $498 million share of the new Vikings stadium with revenue from electronic pulltabs was a bust, but now Gov. Mark Dayton is owning up to it.

"You know, there were multiple errors made, and in hindsight, obviously we were terribly wrong," Dayton told Minnesota Public Radio.

MPR says revenue from the electronic games, which also includes bingo, is down nearly 100 percent from projections. Only 300 bars across the state have installed e-pulltabs, down significantly from the projected 2,500 bars that lawmakers thought would jump on board.

Dayton admits there were many factors that contributed to the disappointing results.

Former Republican state Sen. Amy Koch and bar owner Amy Koch said part of the problem is that it's incredibly expensive for bars to install e-games for only a couple hundred bucks in return each month.

Also, paper pulltab players aren't going for it, saying the electronic games aren't that much fun.

To make up for the shortfall, Dayton got behind a backup plan to generate funds. A one-time tax on cigarette supplies generated more than $30.4 million, most of which is earmarked for the nearly $1 billion stadium. A new tax on out-of-state corporation is also expected to contribute to the state's piece of the pie.

Construction on the new stadium is scheduled to begin in early November.

A KSTP/Survey USA poll of 500 adults in Minnesota conducted Sept. 4-5 found that 51 percent are in favor of re-opening the stadium legislation to re-work the stadium deal, while 39 percent think the contract should be left as is.

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