Minn. group wants e-bingo, video lottery in bars

Published 11:12 am Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Associated Press

ST. PAUL — A new hospitality-industry coalition is pushing to help close a yawning Minnesota budget gap by allowing new forms of state-sanctioned gambling in bars and restaurants statewide.

Profit Minnesota on Tuesday outlined its plan to authorize video lottery terminals, electronic pull tabs and electronic bingo. The group estimates the new forms of gambling would bring the state $630 million a year to help with a two-year deficit approaching $6 billion.

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The group plans to push its proposal with candidates for governor and Legislature.

Sen. David Tomassoni (tahm-ah-SOH’-nee), a Democrat from Chisholm, says the plan would raise new state revenue without increasing taxes. Backers say the proposal would also boost charitable donations by nearly $230 million a year.

A spokesman for the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association says the group opposes expanded gambling off reservations.