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Hopkins to Review Electronic Bingo in January

Bingo is currently limited to organizations that host games in locations they own and operate.

The City Council could take up the issue of electronic bingo in January, City Manager Mike Mornson announced at a work session after Tuesday’s council meeting.

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

Legislators 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 increased pulltab use to help pay for about one-third of the new Vikings stadium.

On Nov. 20, the Hopkins Youth Hockey Association, which sells pulltabs out of the Mainstreet Bar & Grill and Tuttle’s, asked the City Council to change its rule because the new electronic devices include both electronic pulltabs and electronic bingo.

Mornson said the city is considering taking up the issue at a Jan. 15 work session. It’ll invite charitable gambling organizations and the businesses in which they operate.

If electronic bingo use is expanded, it would still remain relatively limited. State law limits organizations to six electronic bingo devices in premises with 200 seats or less and 12 devices in premises with more than 200 seats.

It allows up to 50 devices for premises where bingo is the primary business.

 

 

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