Powerhouse electronic pull tab gaming devices idled in ND

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's attorney general has suspended the license of company that operates electronic pull tab devices in the state.

Powerhouse Gaming has improperly installed pirated software on its devices in violation of the law, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said Wednesday.

The attorney general's gaming division began investigating Powerhouse in May after receiving what it calls credible information.

Investigators inspected several Powerhouse devices and said they found the company had improperly installed a program known as KMS, which Microsoft labels a software hack that violates copyright laws, the attorney general said.

The state also learned Microsoft attorneys demanded that Powerhouse stop using the pirated software in its gaming systems.

Without a license, all Powerhouse electronic pull tab devices, which number nearly 500, must be disabled in North Dakota until further notice.

Stenehjem said that license suspension order will remain in effect at least until Powerhouse can prove to his office that the company is in full compliance with all gaming regulations.

Powerhouse, headquartered in Rocklin, California, has the right to request a hearing on the suspension. The company did not respond to messages seeking comment.

The pull tab devices have been popular in North Dakota, with nearly $350 million wagered in fiscal year 2019. The wagers netted nearly $36 million for charitable organizations.

Powerhouse is one of five companies licensed to manufacture electronic pull tabs device systems, which are distributed across the state to bars and other locations.