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City Council Welcomes Electronic Bingo into Hopkins Establishments

The council unanimously approved a policy change that allows the devices.

Hopkins nonprofits are now able to use electronic bingo devices in local establishments.

The City Council on Tuesday unanimously approved a policy change that allows the devices to be used alongside paper pulltabs. The policy change took effect immediately.

Hopkins’ previous legislative policies only allowed organizations to host bingo games in locations they own and operate. That prevented organizations, including those that already conduct pulltab games in local bars, from using electronic gaming devices that also include bingo.

But legislators last year allowed charities to use electronic gaming devices under the theory that they’d lead to an increase in charitable gambling—resulting in more money for both the charities and the state, which already gets a cut of charitable gaming.

The state is counting on the devices, which will eventually have both bingo and electronic pulltabs, to help pay for about one-third of the new Vikings stadium—although that’s not happening as expected.

The Hopkins Youth Hockey Association asked the City Council for the policy change in November—arguing that continuing to ban the devices would cause nonprofits to lose business to communities that do allow electronic bingo.

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