State may be left holding stadium bag

It’s not news that the state’s revenue from electronic pulltabs, intended to finance the state’s portion of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium, is falling far short of projections.

Last year, proponents of the plan predicted the machines could be in 2,500 bars, maybe as soon as last October. Last week, the state’s monthly Gambling Control Board report indicated they are in only 140 bars, with less than 10 added each week.

Even worse, the sales per machine are not near the projections. In fact, the average take per site is about a third of the projections.

Legislators are naturally concerned about this lack of development. The time is coming when the state will have to start paying its share of the cost, and if the electronic pulltabs aren’t coming through, the state will be left holding the bag. It will either have to do something to push the installation and use of electronic pulltab machines, or come up with some other form of revenue. Taking it out of the state’s general revenue funds should not be an option.

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