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Judge denies pull tab company's restraining order request

Judge denies pull tab company's restraining order request

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A federal judge has denied a California-based gambling equipment manufacturer’s request that hundreds of electronic pull tab machines that were shut down by the state of North Dakota on July 8 be allowed back in use.

North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem suspended Powerhouse Gaming’s gambling license because he said the company had failed to show it had purchased a software license for each device in the state. The move shut down nearly 500 of the 2,500 machines in the state.

The company said Stenehjem and Gaming Director Deborah McDaniel interfered with its business and contracts and violated the owner’s right to due process. The two “exercised pre-hearing discretion” in enforcing the suspension “which in reality had a final effect” on the business, the company said in court documents.

Powerhouse Gaming in requesting a restraining order failed to show that “immediate and irreparable injury, loss or damage” will result before their case is heard, U.S. District Judge Daniel Traynor said in denying the motion. The case is not an emergency situation and any harm that may have been prevented has already occurred, the judge said.

“In the end, this is a case that largely involves money damages that can be recouped if Powerhouse’s claims prove successful,” Traynor said.

Powerhouse in a lawsuit filed on July 17 seeks money damages.

Company attorney Randall Bakke did not immediately respond to a request for comment Wednesday.

Reach Travis Svihovec at 701-250-8260 or Travis.Svihovec@bismarcktribune.com

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