Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Here's your sign, Governor

....and yours too, Senatress Rosen.  What for?  Well, Mr. Dilettante explains; the electronic pull-tabs (lose your money to the TV monitor!) that were supposed to pay for the new Crystal Cathedral Viqueens stadium have just about "broken even" in terms of profit, which of course means that after the costs of problem gambling are accounted for--divorce, counseling, incarceration, etc..--the program is running a serious loss. 

But it's not like we should have known, because after all, the Taxpayers' League of Minnesota has only been warning about this for a decade or so.  Whatever you think of legalized gambling, the adrenaline rush it creates in its participants does impose societal costs, after all.

Also interesting is a look at ViQueens owner Zygi Wilf's finances.  He, along with other junior partners, owns a portfolio including 25 million square feet of business development along with the ViQueens.  Overall, a ballpark estimate of the value would be around six billion bucks, plus or minus.

However, Wilf's actual net worth is estimated at only $310 million (Sports Illustrated, 2011), indicating that those voting for the stadium bill ignored the fact that, being heavily leveraged, Wilf's finances are likely quite volatile--not a good thing when Wilf and his partners are on the hook (theoretically) for hundreds of millions of dollars more than he's got.

So if you supported the new Crystal Cathedral; here's your sign.


Jim Peet said...

Interesting article in about pull tabs: Dayton makes a mistake, learns the right lesson

“To take an untried source of revenue for the sole source of funding for a major project is ill-advised. “That’s my number one take-away from this.”

Bike Bubba said...

Thanks for the link; suffice it to say that if a Republican had made that mistake, I don't know that the MinnPost would be so gracious about the matter.

Nor should they be--Dayton is more or less saying he needs data to prove something that ought to be self-evident. Sigh.