Stadium bills rely in part on new gambling revenue

Senate floor
Senators debate the Vikings stadium bill in St. Paul, Minn. Tuesday, May 8, 2012.
MPR Photo/Jeffrey Thompson

The bill that has passed the Minnesota House and Senate funds a Vikings stadium in part through new revenue expected to be generated by electronic pull tabs and electronic linked bingo.

These are new variations on familiar forms of charitable gambling that are currently played in bars across the state. Proponents say these electronic games will generate over $50 million a year to pay off the stadium bonds.

King Wilson of Allied Charities of Minnesota said the new electronic games will catch on with some, but not all players.

"I think what we're going to find is like with e-book readers there are some people who will want to play paper pull tabs that will never do anything different that paper pull tabs," Wilson said.

One big difference between the House and Senate stadium bills is how much the Vikings will have to pay. The Senate voted to make the contribution $25 million dollars more than the team's initial contribution. The House version requires the Vikings to chip in an extra $100 million.