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North Dakota State Roundup

November 1, 2009

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Press the button for pull tab

The state of North Dakota is considering a change to gambling regulations that would streamline complex regulations and tax rates and would allow charitable organizations to offer electronic pull tabs to replace the paper ones now widely used.

A possible move to electronic pull tabs is being considered because they are easier to manage and audit. The state’s judiciary committee is currently studying this and other possible changes, but the final report is not due until next fall. Any recommendations would have to be approved by lawmakers.

Outside of tribal casinos, all gambling is operated by and on behalf of charities. Last year, gamblers in the state spent $144 million on the paper-pulling game, or more than half of all charitable wagers. Despite obvious efficiencies, the switch to electronic pull tabs is not a slam dunk. Two decades ago, the Legislature approved laws allowing charities to offer electronic gambling, but the matter was soundly defeated in a special election.
photo of Ronald A. Wirtz
Ronald A. Wirtz
Editor, fedgazette

Ron Wirtz is a regional outreach director at the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis. Ron’s primary responsibilities involve tracking current business conditions, with a focus on employment and wages, along with sector-tracking in construction, real estate, consumer spending and tourism. In this role, Ron networks with local businesses in a six-state region, both in person and via various communication channels, and gathers other traditional and nontraditional sources of information to assess current business activity. Ron also gives customized speeches on regional economic activity, and handles advance planning for regular outreach trips to Ninth District communities by Bank President Neel Kashkari. Prior to this role, Ron was the long-time editor of the fedgazette, the Bank’s regional business and economics publication, where he conducted research on such topics as employment trends, health care pricing and consolidation, housing, entrepreneurship, public pensions, income mobility, the Bakken oil boom and other topics.