Today (9/18/2013) marks the one-year anniversary of Electronic Gambling in Minnesota. A year ago, with all kinds of fanfare, the newest form of legalized gambling entered into the Minnesota market. The MLBA was there for the glory and the hoopla and the attention. So were those that favored the landfall revenue anticipated from these new hand held gambling devices to help fund the Minnesota Vikings stadium as well as bring in new revenue for a number of charities and our bars and restaurants across the state.
Well, it didn’t make the mark, so the gamble was just that, a gamble. But wait a minute, there has been nothing but bad publicity and much to do about why and how did things go bad. All is not wasted and the MLBA is wild with enthusiasm for electronic gaming in all of our establishments. This is no small business deal, it’s massive.
Don’t forget, the MLBA and the charities that work so close in our bars and restaurants have been fighting for additional forms of gambling for over 27 years. For 27 years we have been beat down by the tribal gaming folks; the state legislature; the anti-gambling folks and more. But this past year, we prevailed, much in part by a lot of hard work by our members and allied friends. We said we would do it and we did. We have electronic gambling in Minnesota. Now, we just have to educate the public that this is a winning formula for the hospitality industry, including the charities.
We became the first state in the nation to pass legislation on electronic gambling. Folks, these devices, as well as electronic games are in the infancy stage of development. It’s brand new. It’s something nobody even dreamed of a decade ago. Electronic gambling is the new technology, the newest and best the electronic industry has to offer and we, here in Minnesota, pulled it off. Let the industry and the gambling public have a chance to watch this grow, and it will. We have a popular bar in St. Paul that just last month sold over $90,000 in electronic gaming. That bar will have grossed almost $1 million dollars this past year in gross sales …. that’s one bar! Now if one bar can do that kind of business for the charities (and themselves) why can’t others? Once other bar owners realize this is a bonanza, they will come on board. Right now, the bars and charities alike need to talk; listen; become educated; roll up their sleeves and dig in. Give these new products a chance to grow into an adult activity that is fun, profitable for everyone and entertaining.
Enough of the doom and despair already. Stop the negative publicity. The Vikings will get their stadium, the Charities will get their share and the bars will prosper, it’s a win, win, win situation if only others can give this new form of legal gambling a chance in Minnesota. We have a strong and dedicated regulatory structure here in Minnesota, and Minnesotans like to gamble. Give this another look when you can and climb on board to a very successful form of adult entertainment that is first ever in the nation and found right here in our bars and restaurants in Minnesota.
If you need more information, or have questions, we’re here for you. Call Tony, Mike or myself and we’ll do the best we can to assist you. We can provide you the contact information that you might need. (651 772 0910)
Frank Ball, Executive Director MLBA