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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.
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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.

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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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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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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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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.

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