Thursday, February 2, 2012

Gambling revenues for electronic pulltabs and bingo-- a moving target.

Proponents of a new Vikings stadium and supporters of charitable gambling trumpet all the new revenues projected to be generated from installing electronic pull tabs and bingo games to replace the paper ones.

In the fiscal note accompanying the bill last year, the Minnesota Gambling Control Board estimated it would generate a mind boggling $2.5 billion in new gambling dollars from which the state will get a small percentage off the top to pay for the Vikings stadium and other government programs or projects. They estimate by 2014 there would be 3500 gambling sites using the electronic pull tabs and bingo games.

It seems these are moving numbers. The newest revenue projects for the state have increased from around $40 million a year to $72 million. And they say there will only be 2500 gambling sites.

The danger will these moving targets is if the expansion is passed and projected revenues don't materialize, I believe they'll come back to the legislature for more gambling -- slot machines in bars and restaurants.

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