Friday, August 9, 2019

North Dakota Passed 70 Operating Pig Wheels

By our count, last month North Dakota passed having 70 active and operating Pig Wheels.  I even saw a video of a $5,000 plus payout spin in the eastern part of the state when a wedding party, slightly lubricated, went nuts betting on one number that legitimately and surprisingly hit.  Pig Wheels just seem to slowly grow and have become perhaps the most popular paddle wheel based table game in the United States.  Bet on the pig named Joe ya-all.

Didn't Happen in Minnesota in 2019 Session

Tribal pressure on committee chairs along with an inclination not to pass any gaming related legislation once again stopped our effort to make already legal electronic wheels a functioning reality.  Reducing the use of paper in the game, paper used for a couple of minutes and then thrown away, is an environmental interest unshared by tribal gaming interests.  They apparently believe that their casinos would be threatened if charities reduced their use of paper tickets.  Same table game, same wheel ..... just far less paper, far less cost for organizations and far greater accountability.  While the legislature passed authorization for electronic wheels in 2012, organizations still must use a paper ticket with each and every wheel wager.  Bingo, pull tabs and even raffles have electronic applications......but wheels must remain mechanical.  Go figure?  And, too bad tribal casino management and lobbyist don't appear to embrace the spirit of their tribal sensitivities toward Gaia.

Saturday, February 23, 2019

2019 Minnesota Wheel Legislation

Minnesota Electronic Wheel Bills Are Filed - HF0356 & SF0512

This legislation does not pass without your support in contacting you Representative and Senator.  
Find who represents you HERE

Remember, electronic wheels were authorized in MN during the 2012 session.  But, the paper ticket procedures for wagering were untouched and when you added the cost of a paper ticket with each and every wager along with the electronics, they were made far too expensive and still too cumbersome for many to operate.

Thank you Representative Ben Lien & Senator Koran for sponsoring this legislation

Allied Charities of Minnesota Endorsed

     We thank Allied Charities of Minnesota for their continued endorsement of attempts to modify the ticketing/wagering process for paddle wheels that, while keeping existing wheel operations the same as they are now, would effectively allow us to efficiently launch electronic wheels and tables .... in many cases bringing Tri-Wheel® up to the 21st century.  The existing wheel and table is very expensive both in consumption of a 4¢ ticket with each wager and in controlling the secured inventory of tickets as well as it is less secure and efficient while also being less attractive to the newer generation.  No new table has been produced in the past 25 years!  That's right, any table you see is over 25 years old and while we feel quite satisfied that they have lasted that long in a bar environment, we know they are dying away.  With them goes the only social table game in the charitable gaming portfolio.  And, it is the social attributes of table games that are attractive to the newer, younger, players.

All other game types in Minnesota have functioning electronic adaptations

What the MN legislation proposed in 2019 does: 

1.  Can reduce your effective gaming tax rate.

For every dollar, after prize payout, you realize from wheel games, you bring down your overall effective tax rate.  Wheel games are taxed at 8.5% of gross win.  The quantity of organizations reaching the tax rate of 36% from operation of electronic pull tabs.  Thus, organizations need lower tax games to buoy the amount they deliver to their charitable operations.  If you have pretty hot sites, you really can benefit your overall organizational fundraising with wheel games.

2.  Reduces expensive paper consumed with each and every wager.

Allows a one-ticket-many-bet format.  For wheels without a table, the bill allows consolidation of all of a players wagers for up to 10 consecutive spins on one ticket.  This system is far easier to regulate and allows for increased accuracy in payouts, timely and remote reporting and vastly decreases the time taken in counting and tallying individual paper tickets. Reduces paper on table wheel games to one ticket per gaming session.

3.  Central control of graphic spins and resolutions while collecting all statewide wheel accounting.

For wheels not using tables, all such wheels of same type statewide spin to the same resolution every four or five minutes.  They are passive-style games that operate in the background.  Thus people can "party-play" so that a table of people can pool their wager and play while visiting - not intensely consuming.  The central computer tracks all activity across the state and warns of anomalous activity in near-real-time.

4.  Prize limit becomes associated with each wager and not each ticket.

Places a very standard (common to charitable gaming games) prize limit on each wager instead of each paper ticket.  This is an important change in order to facilitate the reduction in paper by having multiple wagers on a ticket rather than a ticket for each wager.

5.  Real human wheel operators still required to operate each table.

Where else can you sit down and meet people you may never otherwise come in contact with while cheering and booing the resolution of a graphically revolving wheel?  It's fun.  It's social.  It's entertainment.  Wheel operators help players understand how to play while also assisting in keeping a positive playing atmosphere among the players.  This is not an introverted individual gaming terminal.

6.  Allows the use of symbols in addition to numbers on a wheel.

Why should wheels have only numbers?  No functional reason.  The Pig Wheel™ in North Dakota is widely played.  Players love cheering or booing the five individual pigs.  We can expand on that entertainment in Minnesota....

7.  Provides the Minnesota Gambling Control Board greater regulatory authority.

While electronic wheels were authorized in the 2012 MN legislative session, the state's tribes have kept any required additional legislation that would provide reasonable regulatory control and functional control of the game from ever being heard in a legislative committee.  The technical language that breathes life into the operation of the 2012 authorized wheels is needed.

What the legislation doesn't do:

1. Does not authorize electronic simulated paddle wheels.  Those are already allowed in statute.

2. Does not change the current conduct of existing wheel games.

3. Does not authorize, in any form, player activated wheel or gamingdevices.

No individual terminals.  These remain entertaining and social multi-player games.

Friday, November 11, 2016

Perhaps 2017?

Electronic Paddle Wheels


Authorized in the 2012 session, attempts to modify the wagering/ticketing process have continued to be challenging.  Timely formal (ones in which votes are taken) legislative committee hearings have not been granted - even when the chairman, Representative Hoppe, of the committee of jurisdiction was a co-author of the legislation.  

While Allied Charities of Minnesota (ACM) have endorsed the proposed legislation they need to actually sponsor the effort for it to receive the backing needed for passage.  While ACM has sponsored electronic raffles and bingo legislation, they have not received push from any organizations to sponsor the modifications to wagering/ticketing required to make electronic wheels practical.  Thus, the old wheel related table games die out from use without ability to be replaced each year - soon there may be no more table games in Minnesota charitable gaming.  Why?  Because the tribes place modest pressure on legislators to keep bills from being heard.  Find HERE a link to more information on legislative history in Minnesota

North Dakota

In 2015 we attempted a bill that would have authorized electronic wheel tables (such as those elsewhere on this site).  The bill HB 1230, passed the Judiciary Committee in the House and fell flat on the floor of the House.  The prime speaker against the bill, Representative Klemin, is certainly not a proponent of gaming and I believe he didn't quite understand the system.  He also was against the system because it had not been authorized anywhere else in the country.  As though innovation is to be shunned in North Dakota.  We may try again if Charitable Gaming Association of North Dakota is onboard.  See more HERE.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Updated Electronic Pig Wheel Network

Showing the previously disclosed network with the addition of the electronic tables.

New Electronic Pig Wheel® Table

This electronic table uses a multi-touch sensitive playing surface (green) and virtual chips and is played in consort with an electronic wheel.  Both are to be connected to our server which stores records of play and activity on the table as well as conducting spins.  The playing surface includes six player stations.  The chip bank of each player is composed entirely of chips in the denomination value the player selected.  The numbers on the chips are not indicators of value but of quantity.  One player's chips could be worth $1 each while another's could be 10¢.  The computer recognizes the difference and the payouts are in multiples of the respective value.

The table continues to utilize an operator whose job is issuance of chips (currency plunged into the double locking drop box) redemption of chips (printed receipt - to be redeemed at cashier station) and calling for the spins when the table is ready.

Calculations on payouts and even how many chips worth, for instance 50¢ are to be issued for $20 are performed by the computer.  With the operator relieved of needing to perform quick calculations, accuracy is improved while time is saved allowing operators to refocus on player service.

The operator provides instruction in how to play and generally is charged with keeping an upbeat, fun attitude.  We hope to deploy the game sometime in early to mid 2016.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Electric Pig Wheel Network System Configuration

Electronic simulated wheels are already legal in Minnesota.  What we are seeking in Minnesota is an efficient and secure ticket system that could actually work.  With this system, we are still using a paper ticket; however, the player can use paper or a mobile app to plan their play - select their wagers.  Either way, their selections, amounts and quantity of spins needs to be scanned into the system and an official ticket is printed.  In Minnesota, we are also seeking the ability to use symbols instead of being required to always use numbers on the wheel.  If we can use symbols and numbers, our successful North Dakota wheel, Pig Wheel™, would come to Minnesota.  That is, if we can get ticket modifications.

In North Dakota we are seeking the use of electronic simulated wheels using the system above that would allow the game to be conducted without a dedicated table.  Thus, it could be operated at far lower cost in bars and taverns with lower traffic - rural areas.  This system defeats the human and environmental spinning bias that can sometimes, currently, effect the outcome.