June 5, 2023 3 min read


Electronic Pull Tab Restrictions in Minnesota May Impact Businesses, Charities

Charities and businesses fear the impact of the potential changes to the electronic pull tabs market in Minnesota

Over the last 10 years, the popularity of electronic pull tabs in Minnesota has been growing continuously. Initially, this form of gambling entertainment was introduced back in 2012 as lawmakers sought to find a way to pay for the Minnesota Vikings’ stadium, a massive project that surpassed a billion dollars.

Once the stadium was paid off, electronic pull tabs continued to bring tax revenue for the state and helped raise funds for charities. And it was all going well until recently, when Tribal operators sought to challenge the electronic tabs in court, claiming the activity resembled gambling similar to slots.

The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community filed a lawsuit, alleging that electronic pull tabs were in breach of the Tribe’s agreement with the state. Initially, a judge ruled that electronic pull tabs did not violate the state’s agreement with the tribes. However, the Court of Appeals in Minnesota voted in favor of the tribes only recently.

Now, in light of the potential changes to the market, that are going to restrict electronic pull tabs, charities fear the funding they may miss. Kelli Bohm, the Mankato Area Hockey Association’s president, who was recently interviewed by The Free Press, criticized the planned changes for electronic pull tabs.

She said: “It’s pretty sad news for us because a lot of revenue comes through electronic pull tabs.” According to Bohm, attempting to raise more money for charities via paper pull tabs isn’t a viable option. She explained that this is because expanding the paper pull tabs operation would require additional employees. At the same time, Bohm pointed out that the process itself is much more time-consuming and complex than giving a customer an electronic device.

Removing the Open-All Features from Electronic Pull Tabs

The changes to electronic pull tab games in Minnesota primarily target the games’ “open-all” features. Those features include engaging options like sound effects, animations, as well as bonus rounds. All those features, the Tribes argued, make the games similar to slots. A bill in the state plans to remove any such features by the end of 2024.

According to Mark McMillen, the owner of Mac’s Green Mill Bar in Le Sueur, the upcoming changes are going to significantly affect his business. He outlined that the new restrictions will likely have a monetary impact on its business that may be between $2,000 and $3,000 on a monthly basis. At the same time, McMillen explained that the changes won’t only impact his income, but the wages of its employees.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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