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E-pulltabs for Vikings stadium continue to fumble

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Electronic pulltabs are on pace to pull in only half of their projected revenue, Fox 9 reports. So far, the high-tech games have generated $1.9 million – well below the projected $17 million.

E-pulltabs arrived in Minnesota about six months ago to help fund the state's $348 million portion of the new Vikings stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

“I think the projections were just too high, which is unfortunate because we are judging success or failure on them,” Rep. Joe Atkins, DFL-Inver Grove Heights, chair of the House Commerce and Consumer Protection Committee, told the Star Tribune.

State budget officials say only 130 sites were offering games as of Feb. 1 -- nowhere near the goal of 900 locations, according to the Associated Press.

Minnesota Public Radio says Gov. Mark Dayton expects significant improvement by this time next year.

However, some state leaders are already looking at other ways to cover the state's share of the new stadium.

Rep. Tom Hackbarth, R-Cedar, planned to introduce legislation on Thursday allowing slot machines at horse tracks in order to boost state revenue.

Electronic bingo games could also make their debut at bars and restaurants in March.

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Officials are certain electronic pulltabs would pay state's share of stadium

The Star Tribune reports on new revenue projections that show electronic pulltabs in bars and restaurants would pull in about $72 million annually. A legislative stadium group has tentatively endorsed the plan.

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The Downtown Journal reports that a supposedly imminent deal to build a Vikings stadium does not include a downtown Minneapolis casino, but the owners of Block E say they're still committed to the idea.

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The Pioneer Press reports lawmakers are leaning toward using electronic pulltabs to pay for the state's share. Republican Sen. Julie Rosen says a group of legislators trying to put together a package feels that the other leading option -- slot machines at racetracks -- wouldn't get enough support.

Electronic pulltab games to help stadium financing could start next week

A new era in electronic gaming in the state could begin as soon as next week. The hand-held electronic pulltab devices that Minnesota is counting on to help finance its share of the new Vikings stadium may turn up in bars and restaurants Tuesday, provided the state's gambling control board approves them.

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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.

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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.