Electronic bingo held at square one

Jon Latcham owns 3 Diamond, the state’s largest pull tab distributor

The much anticipated boost for charitable gambling in Minnesota — electronic linked bingo games — may be as much as another month away from helping fund a Vikings stadium.

Some electronic pull tab backers have said that the bingo games, with prizes that could hit six figures, will provide the critical mass to ignite electronic gambling in Minnesota. Revenues for electronic pull tabs have been far behind projections so far. Some worry that will hamper funding for future stadium bonds the state is planning to use to finance its share of a new home for the Vikings.

“Two vendors have been approved, in terms of license, designing the game, getting the game tested,” said Tom Barrett, executive director of the Minnesota Gambling Control Board. “The unfortunate thing is that those two vendors have not provided the board with the final game design, the confirmed testing lab report that says their system, their devices, meet the standards that were established by the board.”

Barrett said that bingo could be ready for approval in March.

The Minnesota Gambling Control Board officials also said Tuesday that a leading contender to sell the games, 3 Diamond Corporation, still doesn’t have its paperwork in order, and put off a decision until its March 18 regular meeting, although board staff left the door open for a special meeting in the interim.

The delay brought an extended public comment from Shoreview-based 3 Diamond’s owner, Jon Latcham. He decried the regulatory process that could now take as much as six months to get through.

“What you have to understand is that every time we’ve had something new come into the industry, there’s never been anything attached to it like a stadium. And it’s all about the money here,” Latcham said in an interview later.

 

He blamed the need for stadium financing for what he described as a vague and poorly executed regulatory process. And Latcham says bingo is key to his system, because he has the only electronic gambling devices that will offer both pull tabs and bingo.
In the meantime, 3 Diamond’s principal rival in the electronic gambling business, Express Games, says gambling revenue is up 24 percent, month over month, for the first half of February. That follows a holiday season.

“From our perspective, we feel like we are very much within the zip code of what the state was anticipating from a daily revenue perspective, and we’re seeing… an actual growth in revenues on a per-device basis.”

  • Gary F

    Really, you mean smokers aren’t “Happy to pay for a better Minnesota”?

  • Gary F

    Really, you mean smokers aren’t “Happy to pay for a better Minnesota”?

  • Dick Justice

    absolutely not. $1.60 extra tax on smokes? you f’in kidding me? what kind of crack are they smoking? they need to stay away from it.

  • Dick Justice

    absolutely not. $1.60 extra tax on smokes? you f’in kidding me? what kind of crack are they smoking? they need to stay away from it.

  • Pearly

    I bought one this last Sat. and hope to never pick up a regular cig again

  • Pearly

    I bought one this last Sat. and hope to never pick up a regular cig again

  • Rich in Duluth

    Yes, people consume this stuff. We should require FDA testing, labels showing ingredients, and sufficient inspection to insure the labels are correct.

  • Rich in Duluth

    Yes, people consume this stuff. We should require FDA testing, labels showing ingredients, and sufficient inspection to insure the labels are correct.

  • The FDA should inspect it like any other product. If they find problems, address them. Otherwise don’t.

  • The FDA should inspect it like any other product. If they find problems, address them. Otherwise don’t.

  • Gary F

    Hey smokers, look for the North Dakota cigs, coming to town in the next couple of weeks.

  • Gary F

    Hey smokers, look for the North Dakota cigs, coming to town in the next couple of weeks.

  • Craig

    It appears to deliver a vapor to the lung. Smoke is not good for the lungs, but the burning probably has a sterilizing effect. Whereas producing a vapor at a low temperature would seem to necessitate a more sterile product and a clean device with which to atomize it, otherwise the vapor could carry bacteria into the lungs. The FDA should probably scrutinize it more like a medical device/drug combination.

    • Ian

      The atomizer in a e-cig is cooler but it is well over 200 degrees. more then enough to sterilize the liquid. as far as the physical heating coil goes they burn out after about 2-3 weeks and if the unit is poorly made you can tell right away.

  • Craig

    It appears to deliver a vapor to the lung. Smoke is not good for the lungs, but the burning probably has a sterilizing effect. Whereas producing a vapor at a low temperature would seem to necessitate a more sterile product and a clean device with which to atomize it, otherwise the vapor could carry bacteria into the lungs. The FDA should probably scrutinize it more like a medical device/drug combination.

    • Ian

      The atomizer in a e-cig is cooler but it is well over 200 degrees. more then enough to sterilize the liquid. as far as the physical heating coil goes they burn out after about 2-3 weeks and if the unit is poorly made you can tell right away.

  • Sue de Nim

    The FDA should certainly have a say. E-cigs are a drug delivery system, after all.
    Is there a reason for their regulations to be different from nicotine patches?

  • Sue de Nim

    The FDA should certainly have a say. E-cigarettes are a drug delivery system, after all. Is there a reason for their regulations to be different from nicotine patches?

  • VirginiaSlims

    The Federal Government should just give it up and legalize Marijuana. How about that idea? To all of you that drink Beer We all know that you smoke too…. So Now Free the Weed Humans!!!! You’d think everybody would be favor of Legalization, but when it comes to Smoking Once again Big Government is watching us right now…..

  • VirginiaSlims

    The Federal Government should just give it up and legalize Marijuana. How about that idea? To all of you that drink Beer We all know that you smoke too…. So Now Free the Weed Humans!!!! You’d think everybody would be favor of Legalization, but when it comes to Smoking Once again Big Government is watching us right now…..

  • Ian

    There is a lot of contention among vapers (people use e-cigs) on FDA regulation. As far as the devices used for producing vapor, there hundreds if not thousands of different devices on the market and for the most part are made by people use a vaporizer. there are 3 basic components in eliquid, nicotine, a base liquid of propylene glyco (PG)l or vegetable glycol (VG), and food flavor. The PG (a common used in asma inhalers) is what carries the nicotine and flavor in to the mouth and lungs. I don’t know how the lab produced nicotine is regulated but the other 2 ingredient are individually approved by the FDA.

    If you want more information the CASAA has a ton of information on the subject

    http://casaa.org/Electronic_Cigarettes.html

  • Ian

    There is a lot of contention among vapers (people use e-cigs) on FDA regulation. As far as the devices used for producing vapor, there hundreds if not thousands of different devices on the market and for the most part are made by people use a vaporizer. there are 3 basic components in eliquid, nicotine, a base liquid of propylene glyco (PG)l or vegetable glycol (VG), and food flavor. The PG (a common used in asma inhalers) is what carries the nicotine and flavor in to the mouth and lungs. I don’t know how the lab produced nicotine is regulated but the other 2 ingredient are individually approved by the FDA.

    If you want more information the CASAA has a ton of information on the subject

    http://casaa.org/Electronic_Cigarettes.html

  • jameswood

    FDA is a very reputed institution and it works only for us.Their interference is good for us.If interference crosses it’s limits, we should oppose it or give us advice what we should do.I think they don’t have any best alternative than e cigarette for smoking.

    e
    liquid

  • Yes, i think federal government should be played important role to regulate e cigarette because federal government has best reputation but its better to regulate the tobacco cigarette.

  • Federal government should play a stronger role in regulating tobacco cigarette not for e cigarette. Because study proves that tobacco cigarette is very harmful so if federal government regulate it all other countries have to follow it. So it will be better for smokers if federal government regulate tobacco cigarette instead of e cigarette.