Many Minnesotans were excited when the Legislature finally approved funding for a new Vikings stadium, but as the funding source falters, many are wondering who will pick up the tab.
Getting a stadium deal past the state Congress was a decade-long battle for the team and for many lawmakers; however, some lawmakers now want to pull the project back because the funding source -- electronic pull-tabs -- are performing far behind the projected revenues.
Currently, there are 961 devices in the state, which is a far cry from the 15,400 projected. These iPad-like gambling devices can be found in 196 establishments, not the anticipated 2,500.
With few devices in even fewer bars, the state is coming up well short of what it needs to help fund its portion of the stadium. The daily sales per machine in March was just $87. The state made its revenue estimates based on sales of $225 per day per machine.
Allied Charities of Minnesota says some of the distributors of the new games, many of whom have the longest and most trusted relationships with operators, remain on the sidelines while they wait for approval. Since the law took effect last year, only two of the five manufacturers that want to do business in Minnesota have been approved.
In fact, only three of the 10 distributors that eventually will do business in the state are currently able to do so.
Big money could also be made from e-Bingo that would link players from all across the state and offer jackpots of $25,000 or more several times a day.
Yet, it's also important to remember that linking e-gaming to the Vikings Stadium funding was not the idea of Allied Charities. They wanted these devices approved and expanded to deliver more money to charities -- but, there is still a gap they have to worry about.
FOX 9 News spoke with Al Lund, executive director of Allied Charities of Minnesota, about the issue.
Watch the video for more information.
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