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Wendy Reuer, Published January 03 2013

First electronic gaming devices arrive in area

DILWORTH – The first electronic gaming devices designated to help raise funds for a new Vikings stadium arrived here on Wednesday.

The Dilworth Lions Club is the first nonprofit in the Fargo-Moorhead area to sponsor the devices at Mills Lounge in Dilworth, said Rick Cariveau, Mills Lounge owner.

Cariveau said the games, which operate on iPads, allow players to choose from eight different pull-tab options on each device.

“So they get to play a variety of games; they’re not locked down to just one,” Cariveau said.

The state banked on the idea that electronic pulltabs and bingo games would generate extra tax revenue from charitable gambling. The extra revenue will be used to help pay for the $975 million Vikings stadium approved in April.

The devices are projected to raise gaming revenue 7 percent statewide, Cariveau said.

Annual tax collections from pulltabs and bingo are expected to more than double – from $37 million to almost $95 million – once the electronic games are fully implemented across the state.

Cariveau said only about 100 establishments in the state have the electronics so far.

Brent Kangas, gaming manager for the Dilworth Lions Club, said the nonprofit will receive a percentage of profits from the games, which will be used to fund community and school projects sponsored by the club.

Kangas said an estimate of how much money the electronic games will raise for the club have not been made.

“This first month will be a learning process,” he said. “We’ve been waiting to see if more vendors are going to be doing it.”

A “grand opening” for the games is planned Saturday at Mills Lounge, 10 Center Ave. E.

Patrons will be able to try the electronic games and watch the North Dakota State University Bison and the Vikings play in much anticipated games.

Mills Lounge opens at noon.

Paper pulltabs will still be available for play at Mills Lounge.

Readers can reach Forum reporter Wendy Reuer at (701) 241-5530

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