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Vikings stadium bets on payback from e-gambling expansion

By MARTIGA LOHN
Associated Press

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) - Minnesota is betting big on a technological expansion of small-dollar bar gambling to help build a $975 million Vikings stadium.

The state plans to more than double taxes from pull-tabs and bingo by bringing in animated versions of the games on portable electronic devices. The gambling taxes are slated to pay the state's $348 million share of building a new stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

It's a test case of electronic gambling for charity unmatched by any other state -- and even those involved in the charitable gambling industry question whether the customers and money will be there.

Yet, Gambling Control Board director Tom Barrett says the state's projections of new gambling taxes are conservative.

The new devices are expected to reach the market in September or October.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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