Minnesota OKs license for second e-bingo manufacturer

St. Paul company becomes latest approved to make games as state seeks funds for stadium.

The Minnesota Gambling Control Board approved its second license for an electronic bingo game manufacturer Tuesday as it moves to ramp up electronic gambling to fund the Minnesota Vikings stadium.

St. Paul-based E-tabs Manufacturing received a license to produce electronically linked bingo games that can be played by multiple players in multiple locations.

Another manufacturer, Electronic Games Solution based in St. Louis, was approved last month to produce the bingo games.

Neither has a bingo product ready to roll out. But E-tabs expects to have the games in the hands of players by the end of February, said Jim Landsem, managing partner for the company. Electronic Games Solutions expects to have its games up and running by March, spokesman Shawn Sullivan said.

E-tabs Manufacturing is the most recent game manufacturer to be licensed in Minnesota. Last month it received a license to produce electronic pulltab games, which it expects to have running in about 40 bars and restaurants by the end of February.

About 130 bars and restaurants statewide now offer electronic pulltab games through their local charitable gambling groups. Taxes on the games are slated to fund the state's share of the Vikings stadium.

Several Minnesota distributors currently selling paper pulltabs and bingo also were approved by the board for the electronic games. This is expected to help boost the number of charities offering the electronic games, as many had been waiting to work with their existing distributors.

Jean Hopfensperger • 612-673-4511

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