Electronic bingo approved; aimed at boosting Vikings stadium funding

Audio: MPR’s Tim Nelson discusses electronic bingo and Vikings stadium funding

The Minnesota Gambling Control board gave the green light to electronic bingo in Minnesota Monday, adding to the expanded charitable gambling slated to pay for the state’s share of the $1 billion Vikings stadium.

The “linked bingo” games allow gamblers at different locations to play together, increasing the size of jackpots.

E-bingo comes months after the Legislature approved of the first electronic pulltab gambling machines, which are now in about 200 locations. So far pulltab revenue has fallen far short of initial projections.

Backers claim the addition of linked e-bingo, with jackpots as high as $75,000, will help boost interest for the games, both among charities that sponsor them and among players.

The board approved the game as an addition to an existing electronic pulltab device, offered by St. Paul-based Etab Manufacturing.

The game is called “Piggies from Heaven”, and its expected to be available at a handful of Twin Cities locations–including the Running Aces horse track in Anoka County–later this week.

Distributors are hoping for a statewide rollout starting April 1.

  • JBL

    It depends – if we simply want to tread water, we can stack ‘em deep & teach ‘em cheap. If we want schools to keep pace with increasing demands to prepare students for a changing world and close achievement gaps, then funding will need to keep pace too. Even with the increase in funding from this year, we are still closer to the former idea than the latter.

  • Jim G

    We have not kept faith with our state’s young people over the past 10 years. But now we need to adequately fund local districts so they don’t need to resort to local referendums. If you want to weaken public education, as the Republicans do, you reduce its funding gradually over decades as they have done. If you want to strengthen and make sure your local school system is funded adequately over the next decades you support adequate funding levels to meet the needs of the young people served by the system. A free public education is promised by our Minnesota constitution to all children and young adults. Do you want the starvation models the Republicans have promoted and voted into existence? Or thriving, healthy state-wide systems that are supported with state funds to make sure all kids in the metro and outstate have an equitable education? I’d prefer the latter, not only for equity’s sake, but because we will reap the benefits of a better educated population.

  • Jeff

    We need to reform the way teachers are paid before we allocate more funding. Let’s pay teachers based on the demand of their skills (pay a calculus teacher more than an elementary school teacher) and pay teachers based on merit. Also, we need to refocus high schools for the jobs of today and tomorrow…we need more options for students to learn about computer programming, robotics and engineering. There are still large high schools in this state that do not offer a single computer programming course. When I was in a large high school within the twin cities a little over a decade ago the computer programming class was taught by an individual who had no concept of programming languages and the language used was a dead language at that time.

    • JQP

      consolidate all metro schools into one school district so that there is the buying power for equipment. standardize everything… tell the local school boards bye-bye ( especially the “politics du jour” goof ball parents running them ). Yup – restructure teachers pay. it will cost more , but do it. Get rid of state and federal regulations on special needs kids and accommodation – its just done wrong wrong wrong. Provide nominal funding for special needs kids to go to parochial or private schools – they are the genius’s (right?) let them show us how its done.

  • lindblomealges

    First, ANY REPUBLICAN IDEA ABOUT EDUCATION needs to hit the trash can. We’ve enacted charter schools, voucher programs, grad standards, and penalties for failing schools over the past 20 years, AND NOT ONE OF THESE REPUBLICAN IDEAS HAVE WORKED FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS. Nada, zilch, goose eggs, bubkas, humpty. Enacting any more foolish Republican ideas will reduce African Americans to talking like Mush-Mouth from the Fat Albert cartoon show.
    Second, schools absolutely need more money and they need to spend it on more ACADEMIC things, such as Science Clubs and Fairs (1 per year is really not enough in the technology age); Debate Teams, year long schooling, arts and humanity projects like students actually building something or a program; Writing Clubs and Fairs so that we learn how to do more that tweet LMFAO. A lot less sports funding is better if we want to build more intelligent minds. A cultural, not employment related, shift needs to occur.
    Third, there are two large structural problems with education: the first being local districts who fund through property taxes. Now this ensures districts stay a) segregated racially, and b) segregated economically, which leads to a system that can not address the needs of 80% of the population (thanks to Republicans, there is no middle class). The second is state-based funding which ultimately plays to the whims of political parties, which is why are schools LOST GROUND during the Republican Revolution, and why the Democrats have to over fund this time around during the time we all gained BACK our common sense.
    There needs to be away to keep businesses out of education (Lord knows ITS ALL ABOUT THE MONEY FOR THEM) and the politics of discrimination and pandering out of the funding stream for schools.

    • Jeff

      I’m glad to hear you have such an open mind with new ideas…especially with this line “ANY REPUBLICAN IDEA ABOUT EDUCATION needs to hit the trash can”. It’s so ironic how left wing people get credit for being “open minded” when they tend to show more prejudice any other group I’ve ever come across when discussing ideas…if it’s not good for a union it’s a bad idea. How about we start doing what’s best for students rather than teacher’s unions?

      • lindblomeagles

        What does anything I proposed in my post have to do with unions??? Answer, NOT A DAMN THING. Thus, you can’t read, obviously. Changing school culture, increasing academic subjects, clubs, and activities, and ending school segregation won’t increase student learning???? Really, that’s what’s you’re going with. This is exactly why Republican ideas DON’T WORK. Your entire solution to school reform is deunionize the teachers even though that was ALREADY TRIED IN CHARTER SCHOOLS YOU MORON AND ACADEMIC PERFORMANCE FOR AFRICAN AMERICANS STILL DIDN’T INCREASE. Send me an intelligent thought please.

        • Jeff

          Watch Waiting for Superman…it’s the unions that prevent those changes from occurring, no pay for merit, no pay based on difficulty of subject taught, no way to get rid of bad teachers. We can’t get enough STEM teachers in the classrooms because the unions demand that we MUST pay a kindergarten teacher the same as a computer programming teacher. BTW, I don’t need to sling insults or use the caps lock to get my points across…try it sometime, you might get other people to listen to your points.

          • lindblomeagles

            Dude, if you don’t have some other solution to propose to this education crisis, you’re not very creative. By the way, I don’t need to listen to you Jeff because you and several other people have said the same damn thing for nearly a decade. Republicans bashing unions is not creative, novice, practical, or sensible. It is time to move on. All that energy and extra motivation you have toward the union COULD BE PUT TO COMING UP WITH A SOLUTION THAT WE CAN USE AND IMPLEMENT TODAY. And as far as I’m concerned, I don’t need you or the teacher’s union.

          • Jeff

            Solution: eliminate teacher’s unions…it could be done today. Then we can hire more STEM teachers with additional funding after adjusting elementary education teacher’s salaries to max out at around $60k/year. Next we can start to motivate teachers with bonus pay in order to motivate them to get their students to perform better. Finally, we could begin to remove some of the worst teachers and start to hire more mid-career professionals who want to jump into the education field (without going back and spending an additional 4 years in school) and credit those individuals with experience from the private sector. There you go, solutions we can implement in September.

          • JBL

            Jeff – If you are going to look at paying teachers based on their impact on overall learning, study after study shows elementary teachers have more of an impact on student success. Early childhood teachers even more so. Mid-career professionals who enter teaching on alternative licenses have a terrible attrition rate and are simply not applying, so they are an inefficient solution to any shortages. Your solutions reflect a common problem with education reform – people who apply private business solutions to a public system they have no experience with. Just because you were in third grade as a student decades ago doesn’t mean you understand how to teach third grade.

          • Jeff

            The elementary teacher pay has more to do with supply and demand than overall impact on student success…sure it’s an important job but we have far, far too many people willing to do it for less than what we currently pay those teachers. It’s quite the opposite for STEM fields, you can barely fill those positions in many schools…I even know of quite a few large high schools that don’t even offer a computer programming class! The idea that mid-career professions have a terrible attrition rate is simply unproven in the state of Minnesota since it is not currently allowed. Finally, the idea that someone must be an education major to understand the current system is plainly false…that’s the same old cliche that you must be a trained expert in a particular field to have an opinion… pure and simple protectionism and has no place in a public forum. Of course there are teachers who get paid $70k/year to teach elementary students how to play with a parachute while only working 9 months out of the year who will resist any sort of change to the current system…but I’m willing to stand up and fight against them so that the students get a better education, they deserve it.

    • James

      There were voucher programs in place in D.C. that were having a favorable effect on African-Americans. This program was ended by our current administration.

      • lindblomeagles

        Dude, have you been paying to national statistics???? Where are African american students at academically compared to other students in the country? Honestly, there are 50 states in the United States, AND OUT OF THOSE 50, you site, not a state, but a city, one freakin city, as some proof that a Republican educational idea succeeded. You’re seriously going to go there???? Write me something intelligent please.

  • lindblomeagles

    Two people have responded agressively (and illogically) to my suggestion that we don’t look at any more Republican ideas on public education for awhile. Folks, let me explain something because I seriously don’t want to take anymore people to task over this. On education, Republicans seem to think they are a road construction crew that should get a chance year after year after year to repair the same or exacerbated potholes—their ideas aren’t the problem, some other obstacle is the issue. Children’s education IS NOT HIGHWAY 94. Republicans have had more than a decade to fix public education. People, that’s a child early education, elementary education, and middle school education LOST. Not a year folks, their entire K-6th grade education gone. They can’t get that back. Whether Republicans can admit this or not, we will have to work with teachers somehow someway on education. We can’t continue to waste time blaming them and trying all of these ideas that HAVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING TO DO WITH GETTING STUDENTS TO LEARN. They have had their shot, and they did nothing with it. It’s time to move on. I don’t want to hear about the unions or the teachers or how we can fire a principal anymore. That’s exactly like telling me there are too many heavy vehicles on the road or if we used more asphalt the roads would stay fixed longer. I’ve heard that before, and the same damn thing keeps happening. All I want to do is provide an atmosphere where kids think learning is cool and there are enough interesting things for them to engage themselves and their parents in their own learning. Any other thing we’re talking about is not in the best interest of African American students.

    • Jeff

      Lots of rant and almost no substance, no new ideas, that was pure attack (for some reason using a road construction analogy?)…great, what can be done specifically without simply throwing more money at the problem? Specific, new ideas please…

      • lindblomeagles

        What part of reading DON’T YOU understand. I told you in the first post, the culture of schools NEEDS TO CHANGE. One science fair a year IS NOT ENOUGH for a generation of kids living in the technological age. I ALSO TOLD YOU in that same first post you didn’t read that we need to de-emphasize sports and put more support into writing labs, debate clubs, and lessons that teach children how to build programs, businesses, or buildings from the ground up. The entire meat of the first post HAD THE IDEAS. But what were you doing . . . . the same thing you’ve been doing for 10 years—whining about the teacher’s union. You have yet to come up with anything, EXCEPT THAT. Jeff, take this personally, COME UP WITH NEW IDEAS, then get back to me.

        • Jeff

          Okay, so you want the culture to be different? Specifics please, that’s like me saying I want every student to be smart…that’s called the result…now we need a plan to make that happen. You say you want to de-emphasize sports…yet most studies show that kids involved with sports in high school tend to be better students in the classroom too. So your one, single idea would result in worse income for kids…please try again. Good try to turn the “COME UP WITH NEW IDEAS” deflection against me, I’ve listed many ideas including adjust the pay rate for teachers based on a STEM focus, merit and getting rid of bad teachers…all those things require weaker unions or at least getting unions to see common sense and to do what’s best for the students.

          • lindblomeagles

            Clearly, once again dear Jeff, you’re still not reading my post, and you’re still trying to implement the same tired ideas that are going to be more than difficult to pass in state legislatures across the country.
            You tout sports as being a great thing, when STATISTICS HAVE SHOWN YOU THAT EVEN THOUGH AFRICAN AMERICANS DOMINATE SPORTS, THEY STILL FAR AND AWAY LAG BEHIND EVERYONE ELSE IN ACADEMIC TESTING. What more proof do YOU need before you wake up and realize that SPORTS ISN’T WORKING!
            I know its difficult for you because you have such an axe to grind against them, but at the end of the day Jeff, students VALUE TEACHERS WHO INSPIRE THEM, and kids get INSPIRED WHEN THEY DO CREATIVE THINGS, WHEN THEY SEE THAT THE LESSONS TAUGHT HAVE SOME APPLICABILITY TO THEIR PRESENT OR THEIR FUTURE. They don’t give a damn about your fight with the teacher’s union or how much you’re paying them.
            Now, I’ve given you parochial ideas that could be implemented now. If you don’t understand them, ASK QUESTIONS. If you don’t give a damn, say you don’t give a damn. But don’t write a complete lie that you didn’t get examples from me.

          • Jeff

            So much anger and condescension, not even a single idea in that rant…once again you suggest you want teachers that get students to do creative things and that students want to see actual applications to what they’re learning. My plan would get rid of the teachers that don’t do those things you want teachers to do; my plan would pull more teachers from the private sector (especially in STEM fields) where students could get first hand experience from teachers who actually used the material students are learning and will see the real world applications. Sports aren’t the end all, be all solution but they are an important part of keeping students engaged in school. Why don’t you try to come up with an actual idea of what to do to actually accomplish the goals you have with education rather then continually explaining the results you want? Grow up, stop with the insults and learn to disable your caps lock…one actual idea would be a fantastic addition to your emotional rants.

          • lindblomeagles

            I CAN’T MAKE YOU READ! If you wish to stay ignorant, that’s on you. As I’ve said before, my ideas there. You don’t want to read them, and that’s your right. But, the rest of us who actually GIVE A DAMN about African American students we’re not listening to that mess you’re talking about. It’s the same idea we’ve heard before. Firing teachers isn’t new, its been tried before already in several states, INCLUDING THIS ONE, and the results are still the same, kids not achieving. You can keep whining about all that nonsense until you’re six feet under. You and your beliefs have been wrong thus far and I see no evidence that that is going to change today or tomorrow.

          • Jeff

            Not a single idea again, I give up on you…good luck with everything in life…it looks like you’re going to need it.

          • lindblomeagles

            For the fourth time (and you can’t count either), GO BACK AND READ MY FIRST POST! Stop being a dumb ass and a repeater. Go back and Read Man, read.

  • PaulJ

    “Everyone needs money, that’s why they call it money.”