Electronic Pull Tabs
An electronic pull tab is derived from paper pull tabs. The first electronic pull tab patented appears to have been filed in November 1990, US5042809. The electronic game closely resembled pull tabs in that when new, there are a fixed and preset quantity of chances among which are a fixed quantity of winning chances of a predetermined prize value. Furthermore it brings the unique features of allowing players to view +/- 5% the quantity of chances remaining in each deal, the quantity of major winners remaining, and the payout percentage, among other pull tab features common to pull tab operations in Minnesota and North Dakota.
There have been several renditions of electronic pull tabs since 1990. The latest rendition was that authorized in Minnesota in the 2012 legislative session. This version of an electronic pull tab uses a hand-held device, similar to a tablet computer, with a touch screen interface. Each device must contain one or more finite sets of chances not to exceed 7,500 per set or "deal" as they are called in pull tab lingo. Among the chances are a predetermined quantity of winning and losing chances. Furthermore, the legislature stated that pull tab devices have "no spinning reels or other representations that mimic a video slot machine." Given how crazy slot machine graphics are, that is a very difficult design stipulation and consideration. The Minnesota statute states an electronic pull-tab game means a pull-tab game containing "(a) facsimiles of pull-tab tickets that are played on an electronic pull-tab device."
The devices are linked wirelessly to a master computer within the bar or restaurant or to a central computer which controls many sites. In Minnesota control computers are linked to the Minnesota Gambling Control Board, which oversees all of the devices.
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