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1st Electronic Pull-Tabs Approved For Minn. Bars

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ROSEVILLE, Minn. (WCCO/AP) – Minnesota regulators have approved the first electronic pull-tab games to help pay for a new Vikings stadium.

The Gambling Control Board signed off Tuesday on five new animated versions of the paper pull-tabs that have long been a fixture in bars.

The new games from Las Vegas-based Acres 4.0 include “Treasures of the Jungle” and “Big Money Heist.”

The vote clears the way for charitable gaming operators to start offering the iPad games in bars.

Lawmakers are relying on taxes from electronic pull-tabs to help the state repay borrowing for the $975 million stadium in downtown Minneapolis.

The electronic version is projected to be a $1.3 billion expansion of the state’s lawful gambling industry. Minnesota’s the only state in the country with this type of electronic pull-tab game.

O’Gara’s Bar & Grill will have the pull-tabs up and running on Apple iPads.

“We’ve been working on it for years and years, so to finally have it is really exciting,” said Dan O’Gara of O’Gara’s.

Mancini’s Char House in St. Paul will also have them. They will also be at Monte’s Sports Bar & Grill in Spring Lake Park, CR’s Sports Bar in Coon Rapids, and Howie’s in St. Cloud.

The CEO of Express Games says they have the capability to have these pull-tabs at 1,000 sites around the state.

State law requires that bars and restaurants carry this new electronic version also carry the traditional pull-tabs.

“I think it’ll be fun because you can take them out to your tables,” Patrick Lynch said. “You don’t have to wait in line. You don’t have a crabby guy standing behind you saying ‘you’re playing on my pull-tab box’ like you see at the saloons.”

Colin Minehart is the executive director of the MLBA Children’s Fund, the group behind pull-tabs. He says the demographic they’re after is the younger more tech savvy crowd who’s not interested in paper pull-tabs.

“These people are a lot greener. They understand and like electronics,” he said. “Who doesn’t have a son or a grandson that comes over to hook up their DVD player for them? That’s what we’re doing. We’re catering to the young folks and that’s what they want.”

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved.This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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