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Meanwhile, longtime Minnesota distributors wondered why it was taking so long for their license applications to be approved by the state Gambling Control Board. In the state of Virginia, by contrast, where electronic games are also rolling out, existing distributors did not have to reapply for licenses, said Michael Menefee, program manager for charitable gambling.
And it wasn’t until December that a second e-pulltab distributor was approved for Minnesota.
The initial revenue projections didn’t factor in the long wait for background checks of both manufacturers and sellers, which have taken months at the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, gambling veterans say. Nor did the projections factor in the months needed for games to be approved and certified.
“We still only have two electronic pulltab manufacturers doing business,” said Lund. “We have two linked bingo manufacturers that would like to be in business but are still in the process of being approved.
“We have seven distributors licensed to sell electronics but no product to sell,” he said, referring to several distributors waiting for their games to get approved.
The state Gambling Control Board has said it must ensure that games follow the approved standards, which can take time. Likewise, the background checks and licensing process are critical to ensuring the integrity of operations, they say.
Minnesota started from a difficult position, noted John Smolic, president of linked bingo manufacturing company EGS, a St. Louis-based company awaiting approval of its bingo game.
No other state has launched electronic pulltabs and bingo on such a scale, so it is working with new technology and with no model to follow.
Another issue is that there’s been little marketing of the new games — unlike the Minnesota Lottery, which has a budget to advertise on billboards and TV, noted Tom Barrett, executive director of the Gambling Control Board.
Under the stadium funding plan, two taxes would “blink on” if revenue projections fall short, said Phil Anthony, research analyst at the Minnesota Department of Revenue. One would be on a new dedicated game from the Minnesota Lottery.
The other would tax the sale of box seats and suites at the stadium.
The outlook is not completely grim. The pace of e-gaming is picking up. Electronic bingo sales look promising. Paper pulltab sales are up about 6 percent. Taxes on all these forms of gambling will help fund the stadium.
Key players in the $1 billion a year charitable gaming industry believe electronic games have real growth potential.
The problem is that too much was expected too fast, they say. Said Lund: “Anyone who thought charities could double their state taxes in one year was wrong.”
Jean Hopfensperger • 612-673-4511
|Boston - WP: M. Ott||4||FINAL|
|Minnesota - LP: M. Hoffman||3|
|San Francisco||8:05 PM|
|Houston||32||2nd Qtr 6:10|
|Milwaukee||30||2nd Qtr 11:10|
|LA Lakers||8:30 PM|
|Phoenix||0||2nd Prd 16:43|
|Buffalo||1||2nd Prd 18:14|
|San Jose||1||2nd Prd 19:23|
|Florida||2||1st Prd 8:17|
|NY Rangers||7:00 PM|
|UC Santa Barbara||38|
|San Diego St||73|
|Utah Valley U||83|
|Cal State Fullerton||56||FINAL|
|Long Beach State||66|
|Ohio||64||2nd Half 8:13|
|Penn State||36||2nd Half 8:40|
|Northern Colorado||60||2nd Half 5:21|
|Duquesne||38||2nd Half 7:52|
|Savannah State||7:00 PM|
|Texas-El Paso||7:00 PM|
|Oral Roberts||7:30 PM|
|Sam Houston St|
|Alabama A&M||8:00 PM|
|Eastern Mich||8:00 PM|
|UC Riverside||8:00 PM|
|Georgia Tech||8:00 PM|
|Rhode Island||8:00 PM|
|Portland State||8:00 PM|
|Fresno State||8:00 PM|
|Miss State||8:25 PM|
|West Virginia||8:30 PM|
|Boise State||10:30 PM|
|New Mexico St|
|Miss Valley St||68||FINAL|
|(22) Middle Tennessee||69|
|William & Mary||65|
|Alabama State||51||2nd Half 8:16|
|Louisiana Tech||23||2nd Half|
|Southern Ill||7:07 PM|
|Idaho State||7:30 PM|
|Old Dominion||8:30 PM|
|Aug 9 - vs. Houston||7 pm||X||27-13|
|Aug 16 - at Buffalo||6 pm||X||20-16|
|Aug 25 - at San Francisco||7 pm||X||34-14|
|Aug 29 - vs. Tennessee||7 pm||X||24-23|
|2013 regular season|
|Sep 8 - at Detroit||Noon||X||34-24|
|Sep 15 - at Chicago||Noon||X||31-30|
|Sep 22 - vs. Cleveland||Noon||X||31-27|
|Sep 29 - vs. Pittsburgh (in London)||Noon||X||34-27|
|Oct 6 - Bye|
|Oct 13 - vs. Carolina||Noon||X||35-10|
|Oct 21 - at. NY Giants||7:40 pm||X||23-7|
|Oct 27 - vs. Green Bay||7:30 pm||X||44-31|
|Nov 3 - at Dallas||Noon||X||27-23|
|Nov 7 - vs. Washington||7:25 pm||X||34-27|
|Nov 17 - at Seattle||3:25 pm||X||41-20|
|Nov. 24 - at Green Bay||Noon||26-26|
|Dec 1 - vs. Chicago||Noon||X||23-20|
|Dec 8 - at Baltimore||Noon||X||29-26|
|Dec 15 - vs. Philadelphia||Noon||X||48-30|
|Dec 22 - at Cincinnati||Noon||X||42-14|
|Dec 29 - vs. Detroit||Noon||X||14-13|