Dayton says electronic pull-tabs are on the table

Gov. Dayton appeared on TPT’s Almanac tonight and said there seems to be consensus growing around allowing bars and restaurants to move from paper pull-tab tickets to electronic pull-tabs.

“Electronic pull tabs has real possibility,” Dayton said on Almanac. “Again, I can’t speak for 201 legislators who will have to make this decision, but that one seems to have better possibility than anything else that has been proposed so far.”

Dayton was careful to note that no head count has been done on members of the Legislature. Dayton met privately with legislative leaders today for two and a half hours.

Supporters of electronic pull-tabs argue that the measure would increase the level of charitable gambling in Minnesota. An analysis of charitable gambling says the activity has been on the decline in recent years. Nonpartisan researchers say they expect the level of charitable gambling to increase if bars and restaurants can move from a paper pull-tab game to electronic pull-tabs.

House researcher Pat McCormack said an analysis of the change could generate up to $42 million a year. He said estimates depend on the tax break given to the charities. Rep. John Kriesel, R-Cottage Grove, is the chief author of the bill. His proposal was to make the proposal revenue neutral (charities would receive increased revenue in the form of a tax break) but the size of the tax break can be adjusted to bring in more revenue.

Supporters of the measure say electronic pull-tabs can also thread the needle of winning legislative support from both parties. The state’s tribal casinos are neutral on the issue of electronic pull-tabs. The powerful lobbying group has lined up against efforts to put slot machines at the state’s two horse tracks and a new casino in downtown Minneapolis.

Dayton says he intends to release his proposal to finance a new Vikings stadium in the week of Nov. 7. He wants to call a special session for the week of Nov. 21.

Here’s a revenue analysis of Kriesel’s bill (remember it’s based on being revenue neutral).

Here’s the bill summary.

Here’s the fiscal note.

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