E-pulltabs for Vikings stadium only generating one-fifth needed revenue

Another day, another report on how e-pulltab revenues for the Minnesota Vikings stadium are falling woefully short. Current estimates are that revenues are barely at one-fifth of what was projected, thanks in part to long delays in getting approvals to install the gambling devices — though given that the chair of the state house’s commerce and consumer protection committee indicated that even on a per-device basis revenues are less than half what was projected, it doesn’t sound like getting more devices installed is necessarily going to be a solution.

So what do you do when a new gambling game isn’t providing enough revenue? Propose more gambling games!

Atkins said he will introduce legislation next week to approve a new electronic game run by the Minnesota Lottery, to be placed in bars and not requiring charities’ oversight. Proceeds would be put toward the stadium.

It’s still possible that the slow start is just due to bad management — from the sound of things, Minnesota went into this with very little idea how to actually implement e-pulltabs, despite having talked about it for years. But that low per-game revenue figure has to make you wonder if legislators didn’t wildly overestimate the gambling market in the state, in the blind hope that it would provide enough money to fill the Vikings’ yawning budget hole. If that turns out to be the case, then the next line of defense will be the “blink-on” revenues approved as a fallback last spring: a new lottery games run by the state and a 10% tax on luxury suites. And if that’s not enough … got any spare hospitals?


4 comments on “E-pulltabs for Vikings stadium only generating one-fifth needed revenue

  1. Revenue from new state-operated gambling is always going to result in cannibalizing existing state-operated gambling. If they weren’t so intent on trying to fool citizens, they’d just redirect state lottery funds to Mr. Wilf and be done with it. It would be less expensive, all they’ve done here is add the cost of administrating these new stadium-targeted games.

  2. @Keith, so far, e-pulltabs have not cannibalized other forms of gambling. In fact, paper pulltabs are up so far. I believe the assumptions in e-pulltabs projections were that “kids these days” aren’t into paper but love gadgets so let’s take their money with iPad style pulltabs.

    Here’s a look at where the state lottery funds go today:

    http://www.mnlottery.com/news__info/where_the_money_goes/

    Should we take money from MN schools to subsidize Zygi Wilf’s private business by raiding the portion of lottery revenue that goes into the general fund?

    I think a referendum could help settle this. Let the people decide whether they think public money should be spent to subsidize a business that’s perfectly capable of covering its own infrastructure costs.

  3. I’m installing a gold-plated toilet in my Park Avenue townhouse next week. The rubes will keep my wife in furs and diamonds forever because the people of Minnesota serve ME. Do I really care how they might have to scramble to come up with my stadium funds, the one’s they’ve promised to dedicate to ME? No, I really don’t.

    Keep the stadium cash flowing in my direction, rubes. You and that dimwit governor inked the deal, and my legal team will hold your soon to be impoverished asses to that. Now I’ve got to run, the contractors are here with the golden commode. Ahhh, how relaxing it will be to sit on my throne and do my business, just as I’ve done it all over the good taxpayers of Minnesota, lol.