ST. PAUL – State Rep. Chris Swedzinski, R-Ghent, said House Democrat legislation would effectively end electronic pull tabs as we know them, dramatically reducing revenue generated for local charities and other organizations.
Language in the majority’s omnibus tax bill (H.F. 1938) eliminates the “open all” feature that has been in use in electronic pull-tab games for years. This move, Swedzinski said, would diminish charitable gaming funds these popular games produce, compromising a critical revenue source for local charities ranging from veteran organizations to youth sports teams, Main Street business partners and beyond.
“This is an ill-advised proposal that would do a great disservice to organizations that do so much good in our local communities,” Swedzinski said. “The majority of Minnesotans support maintaining electronic pull tabs in their current form. People want to continue playing these games at their favorite establishments to support veterans groups, youth sports, and other local charities. For House Democrats to hurt these causes would be an injustice.”
Swedzinski said, in 2022 alone, electronic pull tabs generated almost $2 billion in revenue that was then invested into communities. Without this critical revenue stream, Swedzinski said much of the charitable efforts Minnesotans currently benefit from would not be possible.
“Many of these charities and businesses are still trying to recover from the government shutdowns placed on them during the pandemic,” Swedzinski said. “Local bars and restaurants continue to struggle as they face workforce shortages, supply chain crisis, and price increases. Electronic pull tabs are a draw for customers, so it would be a shame for House Democrats to throw off that source of revenue.”
Swedzinski said he continues working with House Democrats to remove this provision from the tax bill, but it's critical that legislators hear directly from charities, bars, restaurants, VFWs, and other community organizations so they understand just how serious the consequences would be if this provision is passed.
More information regarding this bill and contact information for legislators can be found at www.house.mn.gov.