Pulltab gambling will still help pay for Vikings stadium


The Pioneer Press's Doug Belden reports this weekend that state officials haven't given up on using charitable gambling to pay for the new Vikings stadium.

He says Minnesota Management and Budget, the state's finance division, is expecting a rising tide of paper pulltabs, which have grown by 6 to 8 percent in recent years, will still buoy gambling taxes, and contribute to the state's $348 million pledge to finance construction of the new $1 billion stadium in Minneapolis. They're the bread and butter of charitable gambling.

State law dedicates rising charitable gambling tax receipts overall  -- not just those from electronic pulltabs -- to pay the state's mortgage on the new stadium. Belden reports that MMB believes about $7.7 million will be available to help pay.

The rest -- about $20 million  is expected to come from new corporate taxes, enacted last year when the electronic pulltabs flopped. Gambling will pay about 27 percent of the state debt according to the projections obtained by the Pioneer Press.

The state also pitched in $26.5 million in one-time cigarette taxes last year to prime the financial pump that will pay back the state's share of the bonding for the new stadium. The state bonded for a total of $498 million for the new stadium, and the city of Minneapolis will be paying for $150 million of that debt.

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