Minnesota scrambles after flaws in e-pulltab funding plan

minnesota vikingsRemember when the state of Minnesota approved pull tab devices with the intention of using the proceeds to pay for the state’s share of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

Unfortunately, that decision has became a Revel-like catastrophe.

After initially forecasting revenues in 2012 to hit around $34 million, the estimates were slashed to $17 million. Now, it’s only at $1.7 million. That’s about as steep a drop in the vicinity of Lindsay Lohan’s acting career.

A recent report by the Star Tribune found out that the biggest culprit behind the disastrous and wildly overvalued estimates stemmed from botched projections made by gambling businesses with a “vested interest in the new but untested form of charitable gaming”. According to the report, sales estimates were based largely on different kinds of gambling devices played in other states that were made by national gambling equipment managers and vendors. But after a year of business, it’s becoming apparent that those projections were way off base, something that has put the state’s financing of the new Vikings Stadium in serious question and forcing officials to scramble to find an alternative source of revenue that’ll pay for its share of the stadium funding.

Compounding the messy situation the state now finds itself in was the recent admission that it could’ve done more to comprehensively study the industry as opposed to rushing to find a new formula that would keep the Vikings, whose lease on the outdated Metrodome had lapsed, in the state. Analysis went unchecked, records weren’t vetted, and worse of all, details, sales estimates, though ironically detailed, were extremely flawed.

Eventually, the cracked model found water seeping inside of it and it has been an uphill battle for the state in trying to keep the business model afloat. In the end, there needs to be wide-sweeping changes in determining what works and what doesn’t work. There’s still time to get the ship right, but if the state isn’t proactive in finding a solution, then this Viking ship may be sailing away, leaving behind a state who fell asleep on the wheel.