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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.
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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.

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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.

Minnesota charities concerned with pull-tabs funding Vikings stadium

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 suggests a vote on the Vikings stadium bill still possible this year

Republican Kurt Zellers told MPR if the stadium plan continues to move through committees "with some pretty good pace" he thinks a vote is still possible before the end of the session. Legislators return to St. Paul Monday after their 10-day Easter/Passover break.

House slated to vote on original stadium bill Monday after Republicans drop alternative proposal

Next week, the full state House will vote on the previous Vikings stadium plan that uses gambling revenue to pay for the state's portion of the $975 million stadium. It's unclear if the legislation has the required 68 House votes or the 34 Senate votes needed to pass it. House Speaker Kurt Zellers says he personally opposes the bill.

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.

Republicans pitch two more stadium plans

The first proposal would plant the facility in Arden Hills and significantly up the state's contribution, which would be covered at least partly through electronic bingo and pulltab machines, a plan that Vikings spokesman Lester Bagley says might be "viable." Bagley tells the Star Tribune the second proposal, which would have the team and its partners cover 80 percent of the stadium's costs, "would not allow the Vikings to be competitive."

Time running out for stadium: 'I don't know how we can possibly do it'

A Republican who authored the stadium bill in the House says the time is nearly up. Rep. Morrie Lanning says charities have yet to agree to the funding plan, while some lawmakers are insisting on a backup plan if gambling revenue falls short. And some legislators are hoping to wrap up the session as early as next week.