Potential changes for e-pulltabs has charitable gambling groups and partners concerned

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E-pulltabs became part of the bar scene in Minnesota in 2012, as a way to pay off U.S. Bank Stadium.

It was a slow start, but they have gained some momentum.

“I know a guy who won $10,000 here on the e-bingo,” shared Dick Kari, owner of the Powerhouse Bar in Proctor. “People get excited about it.”

He shares in the proceeds of the pulltabs, and that money helps the business and makes it so he can give back to the community as well.

Charitable gambling helps organizations like the Irving Community Club partner with bars like the Powerhouse. ‘We gave away $700,000 last year,” shared Erica John, gambling manager for Irving.

“The wherever we are, the law says we have to give that percent of money back to that community. We don’t take money from Carlton and run down to Duluth. That money stays in Carlton. Last year, we gave away $81,000 in Proctor,” shared Kathy Gannuci-Resberg, the CEO of Irving.

Traditional pulltabs make up more of the funding source, but e-tabs are contributing.

Advocates for e-tabs say that some Native American casino groups want e-tabs changed, scaled back, or removed, because some of them look too much like slot machines.

This has come up in the legislature before, but did not pass.

Keith Franke, Executive Director of Protect Our Charities, used to be a lawmaker. He explained the e-tabs this way. “This is something people spend their entertainment dollars on. So you’re willfully giving money to this. And it’s going to a good cause. All these funds go right back into communities.”

Also, a good portion goes back to the state of Minnesota in taxes.

Just this week, a ruling from the Minnesota Court of Appeals means there are going to be some changes ahead on the games you’re used to playing.

Fond du Lac and Bois Forte leaders declined to comment for this story.