Hey, everybody, remember back in the spring when Minnesota legislators were worried that Gov. Mark Dayton’s estimate that electronic pulltab gambling would generate $62.5 million a year toward a Vikings stadium was unrealistic? Right before they went and voted for it anyway?
Well, as it turns out, according to the state’s just-released budget forecast:
Projected new gambling revenues from stadium legislation are expected to be $18 million (51 percent) below end-of-session estimates. For both the FY 2014-15 and FY 2016-17 biennia, estimates have been reduced $9 million (7.7 percent). The forecast reduction reflects a slower than expected implementation of electronic gaming options and reduced estimates for daily revenue per gaming device.
The good news is that the final version of the bill included “blink-on” taxes on stadium tickets, parking, and memorabilia if there’s a shortfall in gambling revenue, so any difference will effectively have to be made up by the Vikings. (Yes, it’s technically paid by Vikings fans, but if there’s a sudden $2 a ticket state surcharge on tickets, say, that’s $2 that the Vikings can’t gouge their fans for themselves.) The less-good news is that still no one is calculating how the new e-pulltab gambling — or as NPR calls it, “iPad gambling,” which sounds so much hipper — is affecting charities’ revenues from other gambling options, which now have to compete with the electronic kind. Or how expanded gambling might create other problems for Minnesotans, but that’s probably not much to worry … oh.