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Electronic bingo approved; aimed at boosting Vikings stadium funding

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Audio: MPR's Tim Nelson discusses electronic bingo and Vikings stadium funding

The Minnesota Gambling Control board gave the green light to electronic bingo in Minnesota Monday, adding to the expanded charitable gambling slated to pay for the state's share of the $1 billion Vikings stadium.

The “linked bingo" games allow gamblers at different locations to play together, increasing the size of jackpots.

E-bingo comes months after the Legislature approved of the first electronic pulltab gambling machines, which are now in about 200 locations. So far pulltab revenue has fallen far short of initial projections.

Backers claim the addition of linked e-bingo, with jackpots as high as $75,000, will help boost interest for the games, both among charities that sponsor them and among players.

The board approved the game as an addition to an existing electronic pulltab device, offered by St. Paul-based Etab Manufacturing.

The game is called "Piggies from Heaven", and its expected to be available at a handful of Twin Cities locations--including the Running Aces horse track in Anoka County--later this week.

Distributors are hoping for a statewide rollout starting April 1.