After one month, electronic pull tabs look like a winner - Bring Me The News

After one month, electronic pull tabs look like a winner

Electronic pull tabs pulled in more than $600,000 in Minnesota during the first month of the new games. The Gambling Control Board heard a report detailing the spread of the games to bars and restaurants around the state. Some of the revenue from the games will pay the state's portion of a new Vikings stadium.
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Paper pull tabs are still around, but the video version that's played on an iPad is catching on quickly. In a report to the Minnesota Gambling Control Board, the company that distributes the electronic pull tab games said they're already in 40 bars and restaurants, they'll show up in another 20 this week, and 100 more places are on a waiting list.

So far they've raised more than $600,000, which will help subsidize a new stadium for the Vikings.

They started in the Twin Cities, but quickly spread to establishments around the state.

The first of the games were issued at five bars in the Twin Cities and St. Cloud in mid-September.

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After an initial launch in the Twin Cities, electronic pull tabs are popping up in bars across the state, including in Rochester, Mankato and Duluth. The iPad-based gambling games are a state-approved revenue generator for the new $975 million Vikings stadium.

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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.

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The governor says a plan to allow bars and restaurants to switch from paper pull-tab tickets to an electronic system has promise for funding the state's portion of a new Vikings stadium. There's no formal proposal yet to tap the funds for the stadium.

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Although electronic pull tab gambling and electronically linked bingo will provide the state with the funds to pay its $350 million share of the new Vikings stadium, the trade group that represents more than 1,200 licensed gambling operators tells MPR that it will likely be many months before any machines are available.

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Minnesota Public Radio reports gambling control board executive director Tom Barrett says his staff already has an application from a distributor of the machines and he expects more to come. Thousands of Minnesota bars and restaurants will soon be eligible to offer the gambling machines to their patrons.