North Dakota casinos feeling pinch after E-tabs legalized in 2017

Local News

Since legalizing electronic pull tabs in 2017, casinos are hurting and tribes said they are feeling the pinch.

Now that E-tabs are accessible in restaurants and gas stations, that’s taking away revenue which could influence jobs. For some tribes, between 80 and 90 percent of the revenue comes from gambling.

MHA Chairman Mark Fox said the tribal leaders can either do nothing or invest in other businesses on the reservation to create revenue.

Four Bears Casino has 400 employees and Fox said if the state doesn’t do anything to minimize E-tabs being available in those places, those jobs will be lost.

“Take that away how is the new gaming going to come and assist in that situation? Many Indian reservations do not have any other means of economic development other than gaming,” Fox said.

“Take that away from them, where are they going to turn to? The federal government? In this day and age? Difficult. The state? Probably not. The charitables? No. So it’s really going to make it harsh. Those jobs are going to disappear.”

As of Oct. 31, there were over 2,100 E-tab devices at more than 500 sites.

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