Minnesota charities hope for more electronic gaming options

  • Article by: JEAN HOPFENSPERGER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 13, 2012 - 9:39 PM

Two months into Minnesota's plan to fund a Vikings stadium, only one games manufacturer and one vendor have been approved.

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dflleftNov. 13, 12 9:46 PM

WHO NEEDS CHARITIES?...when you have Government to take care of everyone?

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RossbergNov. 13, 1211:26 PM

Even though the projections for new pulltab tax income were $72 million per year, the minimum needed to repay the stadium bonds is $21 million per year. At 5 percent per pulltab tax rate that means we have to sell $420 million more pulltabs per year. So far we've sold $2 million. Anyone still believe this is a great funding mechanism?

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vike1967Nov. 13, 1211:36 PM

Why would the charities wait for a choice when there is a "30 day out" according to Express Games? Why wait? If something better comes along, go with it.

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EleanoreNov. 14, 12 7:16 AM

Knowing that a portion of the proceeds from this go to the NFL to throw on top of their pile of tax minimized gold, I will never play these games no matter how many choices there are.

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luckylager63Nov. 14, 12 7:57 AM

So far we've sold $2 million. Anyone still believe this is a great funding mechanism?... $2 million in two months with right around 50 active sites. Its right on target. Relax.

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timandtiaNov. 14, 12 8:18 AM

Don't get me wrong, I am for the stadium. But all these problems should have been taken care of before the stadium passed. I just hope now, that everything will work out or we will be a laughing stock of the town.

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eddie55431Nov. 14, 1210:50 AM

Just because Express states that the charities have a 30-day exit clause in their contract, that doesn't mean that it's free. You can cancel your cell phone at any time too......if you want to pay $200-$300 in penalties to compensate the phone provider for the $600 phone they just gave you for $50 to sign up. Undoubtedly, the games provider also has some hooks in his contract too. Gambling enforcement is like any government agency, they move like molasses, cover their butts at every step, and cost double what the private sector would cost. The paper pulltab folks are sitting there with no line of electronic equipment to provide, so they are a bit bitter. Oh, and a company does NOT have to register just because they send a sales or service person into the state of MN. Establishing a business that requires registration with the S of S is only if you have nexus in MN, such as employees living here or a building. Registering would subject the out of state company to MN income taxes on their business here, and with Governor Mumbles promising to increase those taxes, why would you?

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oleprofessorNov. 14, 12 2:35 PM

Perhaps the bribe checks haven't yet cleared banking channels.

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naseth12Nov. 15, 12 9:50 AM

eddie55431 - A couple of your points need to be addressed: 1) The article states that this company does indeed have an office here, and, therefore, should be registered with the Secretary of State like every other business; 2) Although government agencies do indeed often move slowly and protect themselves, the process of creating regulatory steps (i.e., financial reporting) for this new branch of the industry has been rather rushed and incoherent as compared to previous charitable gambling products. This is most likely due to the pressure to get it up and running, but it is patently unfair to expect established gambling distributors to jump through hoops newly established businesses are not presented with. Yes, this is due to government regulations, but given the nature of the industry, charitable gaming has always been, and probably should always be one of the most heavily regulated industries in the state. The potential for fraud is huge and everything needs to be tracked; 3) Of course distributors of paper pull-tabs are upset; see point #2 and realize that the company in question has a government sponsored monopoly on an entire business. No existing MN distributor has been licensed to sell electronic pull-tabs. Why did we award such a lucrative contract to an out of state company? Finally, I am surprised that Express made such a fundamental error in their business practice, especially since they knew they had a monopoly early in the process. It is their fault that Mr. Naseth was able to buy the rights (which is essentially what registering with the state is) to that particular name, but I'm sure Mr. Naseth would be willing to sell it to them. If you'll note, the company's attorneys "requested" that he cease and desist. They can't demand because they know they have no viable legal argument. Mr. Naseth isn't attempting to impersonate a corporation, as the attorneys for Express state, he simply owns the rights to practice business under that name in this state. On an ironic but unrelated political aside, people can't impersonate corporations but corporations are people too?

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