MANKATO — Krista Johnson is doing more than serving beers and other cool drinks to earn her tips at Mully's on Madison these days.
She¹s also an official tutor for customers willing to hand over some cash, take an iPad into their hands and try Minnesota's newest style of charitable gambling. Thanks to a southern Minnesota non-profit organization that was ready to roll quickly with electronic pull tabs, Mully's is the first bar in Mankato to have the new devices.
There are four portable gambling terminals at the bar and, in between mixing drinks and grabbing beers, Johnson was busy teaching patrons how to use them.
"Most of our clientele is older and they're curious," she said. "They want to see what it is and what it's all about. Most of them don¹t have iPad tablets, but they¹ve been to the casinos so they figure it out pretty fast."
All they had to do was hand Johnson their driver¹s license and some cash. Within seconds she used a device next to the cash register to load credits onto the iPad and her customers were ready to play a variety of electronic
If they weren't winning, they were donating money to the new Vikings football stadium and the Prairie Ecology Bus Center, a Lakefield-based mobile scientific classroom that travels to schools throughout southern Minnesota.
Terry Wheeler, Prairie Ecology Bus charitable gambling manager, said the owner of the Phat Pheasant bar in Windom encouraged him to contact Express Games, the sole distributor of the only electronic pull tab games that are currently legal in Minnesota. The Pheasant, Mully's and The Shed bar in Lakefield were already selling pull tabs to raise money for the Prairie Ecology Bus Center.