Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Electronic takes off but at what cost? Or at whose expense?

Here's a story on the introduction of electronic pulltabs.  Headlines says it's taking off.  The question is at what cost and who's expense.  Studies on video gambling says 30 to 50% of gambling comes from 1% of gamblers, e.g. addicted gamblers.  The perversity of the situation is they need even more addicted gamblers to make the numbers work to pay for the new stadium.  Sad situation.
Minnesotans are throwing their support at the Vikings stadium-funding plan, plunking down $642,000 in just the first month of the state's grand experiment in electronic pulltabs.

With video pulltab games up and running in 40 locations, and more on the way, e-gaming is off to a good start, Tom Barrett, executive director of the Minnesota Gambling Control Board, said at its meeting Tuesday.

"We opened five [sites] last night, and will open another 20 this week," said Jon Weaver, president of Express Games Inc., the sole distributor of the video pulltab devices to date. "We've got another 100 on the waiting list."

Taxes from electronic games, overseen by Minnesota's charitable gambling groups, are expected to generate $350 million in funding for the new Vikings stadium in the years ahead. But don't count on any construction cash yet.

From the $642,000 in game sales, all but $99,000 was returned to players as wins, Barrett

said. And that money is divided among the site hosting the games, the charity, the games distributor and state taxes.

But even the tax money doesn't go directly to the stadium. Under the law, only state tax dollars above and beyond the $37 million paid by charities in 2011 will subsidize football.
My prediction is there will be a push for even more gambling if numbers aren't coming in as they want.

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