Just because they're electronic doesn't guarantee they'll be trendy.

It may seem kind of strange in this day and age, but when someone mentions electronic pull tabs, the fact that they’re electronic doesn’t automatically mean they’re going to be something that the younger generation gets into.

    After all, who wants to play electronic pull tabs? Part of the charm of good, old-fashioned pull tabs is buying a whole bunch of them from a nice lady sitting behind a counter and ripping with high hopes all the tabs. Get a bunch of losers and you simply throw the pile into the garbage. But get some winners and it’s party time as you head back to the pull tab counter to cash in, tip the nice lady, and, likely, get more pull tabs.

    If you’ve missed the headlines, revenue so far from electronic pull tab machines being placed in venues across Minnesota - they were at 167 sites at the end of February - so far is not even close to meeting the expectations of the legislators who made electronic pull tab revenue a big part of the stadium financing package for the Minnesota Vikings. If things don’t pick up, some “backup revenues” included in the stadium bill in case the pull tabs didn’t meet projections will likely have to be utilized.

    So what’s the problem? Well, if you listen to people who think electronic pull tabs are the cat’s meow, venues like bars and American Legions and VFWs across the state are clamoring for their electronic pull tab machines, but the process of disseminating the machines is woefully slow. If Viking fans had access to the machines, these people say, they’d happily fork over their hard-earned cash with the knowledge that they’re helping build the stadium.

    But it’s not that clear-cut, apparently. Everyone knew that it would take a while to get machines up and running in locations across the state; the problem is that the machines that are out there now aren’t meeting the projections that were projected for that given number of machines. More machines will mean more money, but if this trend continues, the revenue still will be well below projections.

    So what should be done? Well, keep getting those machines out there, for one thing. But it wouldn’t hurt to market them a little bit. Seriously, do you have any idea where the nearest electronic pull tab machine is to you? Do you even know what one looks like? Have you seen an ad or heard a commercial trumpeting the machines, and how you can play along while helping your favorite football team at the same time?

    Some people saw this coming. Pull tabs are a unique thing, charming, even, in their timeless simplicity. Making them electronic? It sounds like something’s being fixed that wasn’t broken to begin with.