One of the main funding mechanisms for the new home of the Minnesota Vikings has started making an appearance in several Minnesota bars. Bar patrons now have the option to play electronic pull-tabs in much the same manner as they would play regular pull-tabs.
The St. Paul Pioneer press describes the new setup like this:
-- Bar owners hand out up to 12 iPads, from which customers can play one of five different games, each with its own batch of tabs to draw prizes from.
-- Players pay upfront in cash, receive that much money to buy tabs from on the iPad, and can cash out anytime. The total number of prize-winning tabs is listed on each game, but not how many have already been claimed from each batch.
-- Players can spend 50 cents, $1 or $2 on a game, with possible winnings in the hundreds of dollars.
-- For each batch, 85 percent of the money spent is returned to players as prizes; the rest is split among the state, charities, the bar and the game's distributors.
The story also describes the experiences of some of the folks that had used the pull-tabs. Some of them were successful, some of them lost money. You know, sort of like the way "real" gambling works. (I think that's why they call it "gambling.")
The "Wilfare" crowd. . .if such an animal still exists. . .undoubtedly sees this as some sort of a huge disaster, but it's not. This is an opportunity for grown adults to spend money as they see fit, much like any other venture. And if someone doesn't want to support the new Vikings stadium, then they don't have to play electronic pull-tabs. Simple as that.
I'm not sure how wide the distribution of the electronic pull-tabs will be or when they'll be fully deployed, but I would expect it to happen in the near future here.