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Paper pull tabs drive charitable gaming up 8 percent

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Good ol' fashioned paper pull-tab sales are still the major driver behind charitable gaming in Minnesota, which is up more than 8 percent and still going strong, KSTP reports.

Even though the game's electronic counterpart was a flop, the state took in $1.3 billion in charitable gaming revenue in fiscal year 2013 with paper pull tabs accounting for 91 percent of the total, according to Tom Barrett, director of the Minnesota Gambling Control Board.

The Star Tribune said Minnesota leads the nation in paper pull tab sales, reaching about $5 billion in the past five years, which may be why lawmakers thought the electronic version could fund the state's $348 million share of the new Vikings stadium.

After falling very short of expectations, Barrett told KSTP that e-pull tabs have plateaued, reaching only 300 of the projected 2,500 bars that lawmakers thought would jump on board.

On the one-year anniversary of the e-pull tab rollout, the devices had raised $0 for the stadium.

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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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