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Court fight threatens to disrupt Minnesota's e-gambling industry


There's another problem for Minnesota's electronic pulltab gaming industry.

The Star Tribune reports the fight between two of the industry's key players is threatening to disrupt e-gambling across the state.

Express Games MN has won a temporary restraining order against the games' manufacturer Acres 4.0, which had threatened to disconnect its computer servers at bars and restaurants in Minnesota if Express Games didn't make its overdue payments, according to the newspaper.

The newspaper says Express Games had withheld payments and sued Acres in December over claims the manufacturer had refused to get appropriate licenses for its Apple products. Express claims that decision eroded their ability to add new devices and new customers.

It's another black eye for the industry, which was originally expected to pay for the state's contribution to a new Minnesota Vikings football stadium. The electronic games failed to come even close to raising the money, and last fall Gov. Mark Dayton admitted they were terribly wrong about e-pulltabs.

The fight is a major falling out between the two parties who pushed Minnesota's rollout of the e-games. According to the Star Tribune, Acres CEO John Acres and Express Games MN CEO, John Weaver worked together through legislative hearings on the stadium. Their companies were consulted by the Minnesota Gambling Control board as it forecasted how much money the games would be able to contribute to the stadium.

The newspaper reports Tom Barrett, executive director of the gambling control board, said the board is concerned about the conflict. Of the $1.9 million in e-pulltab sales in December, $1.5 million were from Express Games, according to the newspaper.

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