Hello from St. Paul,
I wanted to let you know about a plan the House majority is set to enact that will effectively end electronic pull tabs as we know them. This is a provision in the Tax Omnibus bill we will be taking up soon.
Electronic pull tabs have been an unexpected boon for bars, the youth sports associations, VFW’s, and other establishments that offer them. In 2022 alone they generated almost $2 billion in revenue, and a major benefactor of these sales are local charities like the Blaine Hockey Association. In fact, the Blaine Hockey Association got close to $600,000 from e-pull tabs last year.
Language in the majority’s omnibus tax bill eliminates the “open all” feature that has been in use in electronic pull-tab games for years. They want players to “open one line at a time.” I think that is fairly ridiculous because no one opens paper pull tabs one line at a time. Why would e-pull tabs suddenly have to be one at a time? This change is expected to dramatically decrease the revenue from electronic pull tabs, and significantly reduce the amount of money that is collected and allocated to local charities and organizations. New games would need to be designed and approved which could take years.
This is a major problem that could be easily avoided by just leaving the successful electronic pull tabs alone. We need to allow more of those profits to stay at home where they help fund many worthwhile charities.
If you support our local charities, I would encourage you to share your feedback with House DFL Leadership and DFL members. In particular, my counterpart Rep. Matt Norris, who represents the rest of Blaine, supported this when it passed out of tax committee.
I would also encourage you to reach out to charities, bars, restaurants, VFWs, and other community organizations who will be impacted by this change and urge them to share their thoughts as well.
It is crucial this does not pass, in particular for groups like the Blaine Hockey Association and the Ham Lake Chamber of Commerce.
For House member contact information, visit https://www.house.mn.gov/members/list.
Have a good weekend,