ST. PAUL, MN – Acres 4.0, a Las Vegas-based gambling equipment manufacturer, has won official approval to manufacture its iPad-based electronic pull-tab games. Along with tablet-based electronic bingos, these networked devices will be used in Minnesota's new gambling market.
According to local sources, some 1,200 charities currently offer paper pull-tabs and bingo games in bars and restaurants statewide.
Acres 4.0 founder and chief executive John Acres told VT that the state's new electronic gaming market could comprise as many as 25,000 devices in 5,000 locations. Barring unforeseen regulatory hurdles, the rollout could begin this fall, he said.
PHOTO: Old Glory is one of several iPad games being developed by Acres 4.0 for use in Minnesota's location-based gaming market. Acres 4.0's tablet gaming system allows users to select pull-tab games on an iPad connected to a gaming server over a secure wireless network. The wireless feature permits players to take the portable gaming devices anywhere in the location. Acres 4.0 is the first company to receive a license to manufacture electronic pull-tabs in Minnesota.
The legislation authorizing electronic pull-tabs calls for distributors to lease the games to charities. In theory, the new gaming sector will be wide open to amusement operators who could serve as distributors, Acres said.
"There is absolutely no reason game and jukebox operators couldn't distribute pull-tab games, once proper licensing is obtained," said Acres. However, if the operator didn't find it worthwhile to offer paper pull-tab products, "they may not find electronic ones any more attractive."
Under regulations imposed by the law, operators would apparently be limited to retaining only 15% to 20% of the revenues generated by networked pull-tab and bingo devices.
The Minnesota Operators of Music and Amusements has made no official statement on the electronic pull-tabs and the state's gambling market in general. Contacted by VT, MOMA board member Chuck Leininger of CDL Inc. (Maple Grove) said he believes manufacturers and charities would find valuable advantages in working with vendors, who can provide both good locations and professional service. "If we all work together, there is a shot that this market can be successful," he said.
As reported earlier by Vending Times, Gov. Mark Dayton on May 14 signed a bill to create a legal sector of electronic pull-tab and bingo games for charitable groups statewide. The bill took effect on July 1. Tax revenues from the games will be used to finance a new football stadium for the Minnesota Vikings. | SEE STORY
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