Pull tab rigging alleged
Crime (Photo: Times graphic)
ANOKA – State gambling enforcement investigators have searched businesses in St. Cloud and Iowa and a residence in Elk River after learning that charitable pull tab gambling might have been rigged.
The pull tab operation in question is at JR’s Outpost Bar in Ramsey, one of 25 sites associated with the nonprofit organization Climb Theatre, based in Inver Grove Heights.
Search warrants executed by the state Gambling Enforcement Division accuse a St. Cloud-area man of rigging the games by evenly dispersing winning tickets in packed rows of pull tabs, rather than shuffling the winning tickets among all pull tabs. That assured that more pull tabs would need to be bought out of boxes to redeem all winners within that box.
No arrests have been made and no charges have been filed.
But search warrants executed Nov. 12 at an Elk River home, a business in Council Bluffs, Iowa, and at Triple Crown Gaming in St. Cloud outline what authorities believe happened at the Ramsey bar.
Triple Crown Gaming is a separate entity from Triple Crown Sweepstakes, a St. Cloud business that briefly operated a gambling operation in St. Cloud’s Centennial Plaza mall before being shuttered and its owners charged with illegal gambling.
The warrants accuse Climb Theatre’s charity and an employee of Triple Crown Gaming of having an agreement to position the winning tickets within pull tab boxes to assure maximum profit.
The scheme involved putting a similar number of winning tickets in each row of pull tabs within the box and then layering the rows, according to the search warrants. If the pull tabs were “shaken out randomly, there is the possibility that the winners could come out right away and the game would not have any more play,” according to the search warrants.
Gambling enforcement agents took two pull tab games from JR’s Outpost in late October and determined that the winning tickets were divided among rows equally, as was alleged, according to the search warrants.
The Anoka County Attorney’s Office will review the investigation for possible charges.
Follow David Unze on Twitter @sctimesunze or contact him at 255-8740.Businesses in St. Cloud, Iowa and residence in Elk River searched. ]]>