The distributors involved are Western Distributing Company, Plains Gaming Distributing Inc., and Midwest Gaming Distributing Inc. However, their licenses now face potential jeopardy due to an email that the companies sent to their customers regarding the settlement.
North Dakota Settles Gambling Violations with $125,000 Fine
The settlement, which includes a $125,000 fine and an acknowledgment of wrongdoing, comes at a time when North Dakota has been grappling with issues related to electronic pull-tab machines. These machines, which function similarly to slot machines, have seen a significant increase in usage since 2018. In response, the state legislature recently passed a bill to restrict the proliferation of these devices while a study on charitable gambling is ongoing.
Attorney General Drew Wrigley had initially filed an administrative complaint in April, accusing the distributors of facilitating excessive rent payments and attempting to influence bars’ charitable gambling activities through the Wall of Honor Veterans nonprofit. The Wall of Honor is an organization that recognizes military members, veterans, and emergency responders on indoor digital display boards located in various establishments.
Attorney General Wrigley stated: “These gaming violations undermine the integrity of charitable gaming in North Dakota. Those responsible for these improper actions violated the public trust and the trust of the charities that relied on them.”
He further emphasized that law enforcement, along with the dedicated professionals in the Attorney General’s Gaming Division, are working diligently to protect the limited charitable gaming permitted under North Dakota law.
Attorney General Reviews Troubling Email as Companies Settle Violations
As part of the settlement, in addition to the fine of $125,000, the companies must cover the attorney costs incurred by the Attorney General’s office, amounting to over $36,000 thus far. The settlement also includes an acknowledgement of wrongdoing and the possibility of license revocation if the distributors fail to comply with the settlement’s terms or commit further violations within the next three years.
However, Attorney General Wrigley expressed concerns about an email sent by the distributors to their customers. While he did not elaborate on the specific contents, he described it as “a very significant and troubling development.” Wrigley’s office is currently reviewing the email, and if any violations of the settlement’s terms are found, he has the authority to revoke the distributors’ licenses.
The Wall of Honor, which was not implicated in the complaint, released a statement expressing satisfaction with the settlement. The organization emphasized that the sustainability of veteran organizations is as important as honoring those who served the country.
In other news, the North Dakota Senate Judiciary Committee has delayed making a decision on a proposed sports betting task force, opting to gather more data before proceeding. This decision may slow down the progress toward legalizing sports betting outside tribal lands in the state, potentially affecting the arrival of mobile sportsbooks as early as 2025.