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?