Gambling fails stadium, but some charities aided

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — Electronic betting games introduced a year ago to help pay for construction of the new Minnesota Vikings stadium did not end up raising a single cent for the project, but some charities that operate them have benefited anyway.

New figures from the state confirm what’s been obvious to policymakers for months. While players spent $15 million in the last year on the games, 85 percent was returned as prizes while the rest was divided among charity expenses, donations and taxes.

Lawmakers passed alternative stadium funding earlier this year. Gov. Mark Dayton has apologized for pushing electronic gambling, calling it an “honest mistake.”

While the stadium never benefited, charities in places like St. Cloud and Bayport found ways to make the electronic games successful and generate dollars for their programs.

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