A troubling trend for electronic pull tabs

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I asked the Minnesota Gambling Control Board for the updated daily figures for electronic pull tabs, and they gave me the sales data through the end of the year. Players in Minnesota bet about $4.1 million through the end of 2012, according to the data. But there's some troubling aspects to the games hidden in the numbers. For instance, the per-day gross fell to about $180 for the life of the games. That's far, far short of the $225 a day experts were projecting.

And it gets worse. Here's the DAILY PER-MACHINE GROSS, expressed as a weekly average, since the games started September 18th, according to data obtained by MPR from the Minnesota Gambling Control Board:



The weekly average for the per-machine gross has hit as low as $110 since the games started -- less than HALF the initial projections. Minnesota Gambling Control Board executive director Tom Barrett noted that December is typically a low ebb for chartiable gambling in Minnesota, so there is likely some seasonal variation in these numbers. But this is NOT the direction they should be going if electronic pull tabs are going to pay for a Vikings stadium.

Here's the story that ran on Minnesota Public Radio's Morning Edition program this morning.