Minnesota gov shocked, shocked to hear that Vikings gambling projections made with help of gambling industry

Okay, enough about the Sacramento Kings for the moment! (There’ll be plenty of time for that tonight, when the Sacramento city council votes.) Let’s instead take some time to visit with a risky sports facility financing deal that’s already blown up:

Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton says he wasn’t aware that projections of how much revenue new forms of charitable gaming would generate for the Vikings stadium were developed with input from the gambling industry.

Yep, the predictions that e-pulltabs would bring in plenty of money to pay for a stadium, predictions that many at the time worried were overly optimistic and which turned out to be wildly inaccurate, were come up with by the time-honored tradition of asking the people who’d benefit if the new form of gambling were legalized. Because surely nothing could go wrong with that?

To be fair, the state gambling board says that it came up with its own projections, then merely ran them by gambling industry representatives to check their accuracy before releasing them. (Though given how the projections have worked out, you have to wonder whether the gambling board are idiots rather than dupes. Or both. There’s nothing saying they can’t be both.) But we can still get a chuckle over the governor of Minnesota complaining that he didn’t bother to ask where his own state officers got their projections from. I mean, what kind of elected official defends himself against a deal coming out badly by complaining that he didn’t read it before he pushed it through the legislature?

Gov. Mark Dayton apparently abruptly noticed that hey, whoa, the Vikings owners were planning to pay for their fraction of stadium costs by selling personal seat licenses, and those things cost fans money.

Oh, right. That kind.


5 comments on “Minnesota gov shocked, shocked to hear that Vikings gambling projections made with help of gambling industry

  1. “Or both. There’s nothing saying they can’t be both.”

    Or neither. Certainly wouldn’t be the first time that a government agency got a little too cozy with the entity they were supposed to be regulating. And “empire building” is frequently an incentive for agencies.

  2. Ben Franklin stsated it best – “He that lieth down with dogs shall rise up with fleas”.
    Pass the Off…

  3. Keith has a point. Also I would point out that this governor admittedly slept and drunk his way through his US Senatorship and was generally a terrible Peter Russo style Senator.

    But since he is a billionaire (or close enough), and since he was from the right party during the right cycle he won anyway. In a restrictive two party system like ours often the choice is between Pamlea pork-barrel and Sammy Subsidy when it comes to your election options.

    He has to be about the 500,000th most suitable person to run the state in a state of 5,000,000 people.

  4. Governor Dayton cost us a lot of dough. He gets a lot of mileage out of faux outrage and appearing to be earnestly ignorant of the obvious. God love a politician, especially one we at the NFL home office can buy so readily. Gold-plated Minnesota football palace here we come!

  5. One of the most insulting things to those paying for this behemoth stadium is the statement by Mpls Mayor Rybak that the stadium(s) were too “complicated” for the taxpayers to vote on in their mandated referendums. Now Dayton says that we’re all in this together because together we made the decision to build this stadium. The pull tabs were our mistake and we have to take responsibility. Dayton has persisted in calling the stadium “The People’s Stadium”. Are they trying to provoke us to riot? They’re doing a good job of it. But according to Dan McConnell, Minneapolis DFL chair, there aren’t more than five people in Minneapolis opposed to the stadium any more.