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Nonprofits rally at Minnesota Capitol against proposed changes to e-pull tabs

DFL House tax bill includes ban on e-pull tab games resembling slot machines
DFL House tax bill includes ban on e-pull tab games resembling slot machines 02:01

ST. PAUL, Minn. -- At the Minnesota Capitol, some lawmakers want to make changes to electronic pull tabs that have youth sports groups, VFWs and other non-profits worried about their ability to raise money for worthy causes.

It would ban many of the most popular games, which raise up to $700 million every year for non-profits.

Charities and youth sports supporters - including former NHL stars Devan Dubnyk and Tom Chorske - protested the changes slipped into the DFL House tax bill.

"Today is about taking care of our veterans, our firefighters, our Lions Clubs, literally every youth sports organization in the state of Minnesota," said Rep. Shane Hudella.

House Democrats argue the changes are needed because of a recent Court of Appeals ruling that says the newer games infringe on Native Tribes' exclusive rights to casino gambling.

WCCO went to a VFW in Richfield, where they have both the old-fashioned paper pull tabs and the e-pull tabs on iPad-like devices. They are worried that the proposed changes would hurt their bottom line and their ability to support veterans' charities.

VFW Gambling manager Stephanie Bedor says the VFW and its charities will suffer.

"We go to the vets. We go to the children's hospitals. We do sports. We have all kinds of things we donate too," Bedor said.

For now, the proposed changes remain in the House DFL's version of the tax bill. They still would need to be added to the Senate tax bill in the conference committee.

The Minnesota Indian Gambling Association supports the proposed changes.

They sent WCCO a statement saying, "Current e-games have evolved beyond both the plain reading and intent of the current statute."

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