North Dakota lawmakers begin study on electronic pull tabs gambling

September 1, 2023
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The market for these machines has significantly expanded since debuting in 2018.

North Dakota legislators have started a study that will examine the effect electronic pull tabs have had on the state’s charitable gambling issues, according to a report from US News.

Since their debut in 2018, electronic pull tabs have boomed statewide, which has prompted lawmakers to consider what the future looks like for charitable gaming.

Though e-tabs function like slot machines, debate regarding where they should be installed continues. Those concerned have posed the question of whether these machines should be allowed in gas stations and in convenience stores because of the access minors could have to the devices.

A recent bill mandated the study and “redefined” which e-tabs can be examined, excluding liquor stores, gas stations, convenience stores and grocery stores. However, four gas stations and convenience stores with e-tabs were “grandfathered in,” the local report said.

According to the US News report, state lawmakers have addressed these concerns in the current legislative session.

To date, nearly 4,700 are in use around the state.

Concerns related to North Dakota’s Tribal nations have also been raised surrounding electronic pull tabs due to the economic effect they can have on the Tribes’ casino revenue. The question of whether to regulate these machines in an attempt to prevent money-laundering opportunities is also on the table.

North Dakota state law does not specify where charitable gaming can occur. However, a majority of the charitable gambling statewide takes place in local bars.

State legislation has failed to pass a legal sports betting law, despite efforts to create a regulated market in recent years.


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