Gamblers prefer old-school paper pulltabs to electronic version


The Star Tribune reports that Minnesota is the "national champion" of paper pulltab sales – nearly $5 billion worth have been sold in five years in the state.

That's why state officials were optimistic that gamblers would go for a new high-tech version played on iPads, which are still trickling into restaurants and bars across Minnesota. They hoped that the new games would help pay the state's $348 million share of the new Vikings stadium. Lawmakers have begun to mull other options to help pay for the project.

But sales on the electronic devices have been disappointing, with gamblers in the state buying up just $6.6 million on the e-pulltab games since September, compared to $500 million on the cardboard version. The Star Tribune visits one VFW in Crystal that sells an eye-popping $3 million in paper pulltabs a year.

The newspaper notes that only 57 bars and restaurants so far are offering the new electronic version, compared to about 2,800 that offer the old-school cardboard games.

Players told the newspaper that with the paper version, bars and restaurants use charts to post the results of what prizes have been won already in a certain game. Players like to track their own odds of winning that way.

One player told the Star Tribune the electronic version just isn't fun. "You just press a button and it's over. Here you can play at your leisure," she said.

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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.

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.

Could electronic pulltabs really cover state's debt from Vikings stadium?

Minnesota Public Radio reports the revenue projections are based on assumptions because no other state has tried exactly what Minnesota is proposing.