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Electronic pull-tabs for Vikings stadium still very slow in March

An MPR analysis of March numbers on the electronic pull-tabs shows they’re still way short of projected revenue needed to pay state’s share of the stadium.

The March numbers are in for the electronic pull-tabs that were projected to pay the state’s share of the new Vikings stadium, and an MPR analysis shows it’s still slow going.

The story says that while revenue was up from the month before, it’s still bringing in way less than projected:

An MPR analysis shows that games did take in a record $2.4 million in bets, up from $1.9 million the month before, or about 24 percent. The state also added 29 new bars to its electronic charitable gambling roster, and turned on 138 new electronic pulltab machines. That made for 961 machines 196 sites up and running by Easter Sunday.

But for the second month, the rate of installation of new sites per day fell.

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And, as in the other months since the rollout, the daily average of bets on those machines fell to a new record low. In March, according to data from the Minnesota Gambling Control Board, the daily sales per machine in March was just $87.

That number is key: The state made its revenue estimates based on sales of $225 per day, per machine, when the Legislature approved the stadium law.

While Gov. Dayton has said he’s not ready to panic on the pull-tab numbers, some legislators want an investigation of how the projections could be so far wrong.