Gambling control board grants first electronic pull-tab licenseby Brandt Williams, Minnesota Public Radio
MINNEAPOLIS — The Minnesota Gambling Control Board today voted to grant a license to a Las Vegas-based company that will provide electronic pull-tab devices to bars and restaurants.
Approval on the license is a step forward for one of the revenue streams that will help pay for the new Vikings stadium. The state's share of the stadium amounts to $350 million.
The board also approved a set of security standards and specifications for game manufacturers. Board director Tom Barrett says that's important because about a dozen companies have expressed interest in creating games.
"I'm confident in the resources we used to develop these standards as it relates to the technical end of things. The security — there's some comfort there, to the extent of some operational concerns that the charitable organizations have," Barrett said. "They don't know all the detail that these devices hold."
Las Vegas-based company Acres 4.0 has created games that will run on Apple iPads and other touch screen devices. Company founder John Acres said he is ready to make 10,000 such devices available for use this fall.
"Our devices are cost-effective. We're literally using Apple's iPads. So they're $399 apiece. It's not like we have to make a big commitment to manufacturing," Acres said. "If we want to deploy to six more locations we can either order them from Apple, or if nothing else, run over to Target or Best Buy and pick up a few."
Gambling Control Board officials say about a dozen other companies have expressed interest in providing electronic pull-tab machines for use in Minnesota bars and restaurants.
The first electronic pull-tab games are expected to be in bars and restaurants this fall.