Minnesota launches Vikings e-bingo, crosses fingers this isn’t another e-disaster

Electronic bingo games to fund the Minnesota Vikings stadium launch this week, so gamble early and gamble often, because if this doesn’t work, either the Vikings or state taxpayers are really screwed! We’re talking to you, patrons of Knucklehead’s Bar and Grill!

Speaking of e-bingo, I’ve been puzzled by the repeated claims in newspaper coverage that the key to the success of e-bingo is that unlike regular bing, you can play against people from the entire state at once. And that helps exactly how? Let’s listen while the Minneapolis Star Tribune explains it:

To attract new players with the allure of a megajackpot, it needs a lot of players. For example, if 100 machines are being played at $1 each, a $40 prize would be split by the winners. If 1,000 machines were in play, the regular prize would hit $400. In each case, a certain percentage of the wins would be sent to progressive jackpots.

Woohoo, $400 jackpot instead of $40 jackpot! But, um, also 999 competitors instead of 99. So your average payout on a $1 bet is still going to be the same 40 cents as it was before — it just means you’re going to win ten times the money one-tenth as often.

E-bingo test player Rona Nesser tells the Star Trib that “more education would be helpful,” but given the way the odds work out, it sounds like Minnesota and the Vikings may be betting on keeping their prospective gamblers as in the dark about how the games work as possible.

3 comments on “Minnesota launches Vikings e-bingo, crosses fingers this isn’t another e-disaster

  1. Always blows my mind how one of the first fallback positions to fund pro sports venues is gaming. Just makes so much sense to basically tax the marginalized of society to fund millionaire sports players & billionaire team owners…

  2. No one expects this to work either. The hope is that this foolish attempt to fund a new stadium will chug along good enough so that they can tear down the existing Metrodome making it too late to stop the construction of Metrodome II. “We” will then need to find other “funding” …and then they start eying the general fund.

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