Metro bars debut electronic pull-tabs to pay for Vikings stadium - FOX 29 News Philadelphia | WTXF-TV

Metro bars debut new electronic pull-tabs

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Pull-tabs in Minnesota are taking their first step toward going high tech on Monday as several metro bars unveiled the electronic versions that the state hopes will generate enough revenue to pay for a significant portion of the new Vikings stadium.

The state is planning on using revenue from pull-tabs to cover roughly $300 million of the $1-billion stadium -- but how will it work?

Basically, the new games can be accessed on an iPad. Patrons can choose between a couple of different games, but instead of physically pulling the tabs open like with the paper equivalent, a simple touch of the screen reveals the matches. It's the same concept delivered in a different platform.

It's only appropriate that a Vikings fan kicked off the era of electronic pull-tabs on Monday, just hours after the Minnesota State Gambling Board approved the games.

"Oh, I won!," Patrick Lynch exclaimed to cheers.

Lynch told FOX 9 News he thinks everyone wins with the new pull tab format.

"They can just bring it out where they're enjoying themselves and have a glass of beer," he said. "Have something to eat and do a little gambling."

The old paper pull-tabs aren't going away, but the electronic version offers five games to choose from and each player has the chance to win bonus rounds for a bigger payout.

Though the devices that can now be found at five metro bars are currently the only ones approved for play, the man who developed the games said the variations are limitless.

"We can theme games according to locale, according to charity, according to bar or restaurant," John Acres, of Acres 4.0, explained. "We can theme games according to player personalities or player desires."

Another electronic platform could be approved as soon as December, and that could feature bingo games and pull-tabs linked to other bars and restaurants.

Anyone interested in checking out the new, high-tech pull-tabs can find them at any of the following locations:

  • Ogara's in St. Paul
  • Mancini's Char House in St. Paul
  • Monte's Sports Bar in St. Paul
  • Monte's Sports Bar in Spring Lake Park
  • CR's Sports Bar in Coon Rapids
  • Howies Sports Bar in St. Cloud

Express Games is the distributor of the new iPad games, and John Weaver told FOX 9 News it is conceivable that several hundred bars -- possibly up to a thousand -- could pick up the new format by the end of the year.

"I think that there will be new bars and restaurants that will decide to take this system on because it's exciting, fun and novel," he said, "and I think the charities are going to demand it."

Though the state's proceeds from the electronic pull-tab revenues will go toward the stadium, no one knows for sure how much money they will bring in just yet.

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