Charitable gaming is expected to generate more than 25% of the revenue the state needs to pay for its share of the new Vikings stadium even though electronic pull-tabs haven’t been the boon Minnesota was anticipating.
According to figures provided by Minnesota Management and Budget to Pioneer Press, the state projects that it can generate as much as $8 million a year in charitable game taxes per year. Spread over 30 years, that number reaches $241 million or close to 27% of the total $881 million debt service. The majority of the money that will be used to pay off the bonds will be taken from corporate tax revenue and the state’s sales tax revenue.
Electronic pull-tabs were once touted as the biggest source of revenue to help finance the state’s share of the new Vikings stadium. Previous estimates believed that these pull-tabs could generate $34 million in its first fiscal year but those expectations immediately soured when it became apparent that receipts from these devices couldn’t shoulder the state’s entire $348 million share of the $1 billion football stadium.
Receipts from this form of charitable gambling have increased 31% compared to its numbers last year and they still represent less than 2% of total charitable gaming receipts. Paper pull-tabs, on the other hand, have seen continued growth in the industry and now accounts for 90% of total charitable gaming receipts. In the past year, revenue from this form of charitable gambling has grown 6%, enough for state gambling control board executive director Tom Barrett to call it the “bread and butter of the industry.”
Overall, the state still believes that charitable gambling will provide enough revenue to shoulder its share of the Vikings Stadium. It’s just going to take up a longer time than expected. “We still think that charitable gambling will be a revenue source; that’s why it continued to be in the law and part of this financing structure,” MMB Commissioner Jim Schowalter told the Pioneer Press.
“Charitable gaming is more than just e-pull-tabs. The details of the bill, the details of the financing structure really was about the whole industry.”