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Associated Press , Published February 28 2013

Gambling tax money for Vikings stadium lags badly

ST. PAUL — Tax money from electronic gambling in bars is falling way short of the state's original projections as the primary funding source to build the new Minnesota Vikings stadium.

State budget officials released the latest stadium revenue numbers Thursday as part of a larger budget forecast. They say only 130 sites were offering games as of Feb. 1 after an initial projection of 900 sites by that time.

Officials also downgraded the expected daily tax revenue from those sites from $206 to $100. In all, budget officials now expect $46 million less in gambling tax revenue by 2015 than was originally projected.

Some lawmakers are suggesting alternative funding sources should be considered. But Gov. Mark Dayton says he thinks the gambling revenue will pick up. Charities that operate the games say they need time to catch on in popularity.