E-pull tab limits causes concern over funding impact for local charities

Limiting E-Pull Tabs

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(ABC 6 News) – E-pull tabs raised nearly $2 billion in 2022. Many local charities say they are vital to funding operations.

But under new legislation, the way Minnesotans play e-pull tabs will change from a one touch system to a three-touch system, similar to how paper pull tabs work.

Although it sounds like a small change, it’s causing some concern.

“These games have no statutory cover anymore,” said Sam Krueger from the Electronic Gaming Group.

Opponents of the law say these changes could mean less people playing e-pull tabs, which would mean less revenue for local charities like veteran organizations and volunteer fire departments.

“Even if you don’t play pull tabs, you are benefitting from charitable gambling,” Rachel Jenner from Allied Charities of Minnesota said.

The change is intended to make sure these games don’t mimic slot machines, which only native tribes are allowed to operate in Minnesota.

Charities and small businesses said they’re expecting to see a decline that could stretch into the tens of millions statewide.

To address these concerns, Senator Jeremy Miller’s revised sports betting bill includes restoring what’s called free plays and bonus games, and for tax proceeds to go towards charitable gaming tax relief for local charities.

“It’s a good starting point for charities and I think there are a lot of legislators who want to pass sports betting so we’re hoping that’s going to be a vehicle for us this session,” Jenner said.

Lawmakers like Representative Duane Quam hope to highlight the benefits the current system has brought to local communities.

“It’ll be nice to have a list from all the different localities to get that huge list of the difference that these activities are making and communities across the entire state.”

The law involving e-pull tabs will take place at the beginning of 2025, but Charities Alliance Minnesota is hoping that is delayed another year to give manufacturers enough time to comply with this change.