Electronic pulltab gambling revenues fall, per-machine bets hit all-time low

This chart shows the rate of installation of new electronic pulltab games (MPR image)
Old Glory game
Old Glory is one of the electronic pulltab games offered by Express Games (MPR Photo/Tim Nelson)

There's still no sign at all of a turnaround in electronic pulltab gambling in Minnesota. Eight months into the state's experiment with the Internet-based version of the bar gambling staple, the games are still falling farther and farther short of projections, looking at average daily use on a per-machine basis.

The total sales also fell for the first time in the eight-month run of the games, from $2.4 million in March to $2.09 million in April -- even though the games were available in more places than ever. Here's what the numbers from the Minnesota Gambling Control Board look like, in a month-to-month comparison.

But there's another problem, as well: the rollout rate of the new games halved in April. The state had a goal of 2,500 sites to host the games, and had only 209 as of the end of April. Distributors added only 13 sites last month, the poorest full-month showing yet to date. Here's what those numbers look like, as provided by the Minnesota Gambling Control Board:

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