Gaming Studio, Inc.

Tri-Wheel® by Gaming Studio is only wagering table game authorized in Minnesota bars and taverns

Announcing the Apps


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Tri-Wheel App:


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Pig Wheel App:


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Minnesota's Only Authorized Table Game


Gaming Studio is proud to present the most social of games operated in MN bars and taverns

In 1985 Minnesota formed its gaming regulatory agency, The Minnesota Charitable Gambling Control Board and rules were drafted for the ongoing operation of legislatively specified games of chance.  Joe Richardson, owner of the North Dakota licensed regulated gaming distributor "Great Gamble" and the "Great Gamble Gaming Institute," a board certified dealer training school, naturally looked to the huge market on the border of North Dakota as an expansion opportunity.  While the legislation was quite similar to that of North Dakota, the Minnesotans were not willing to authorize the game of "21."  While they allowed for bingo halls, the opportunity for social interaction among players in bars was severely limited by not having any table games.  Table games are a great place to meet, sit elbow to elbow and converse with people who you might not otherwise find.  They are social.


Noting the missing table game, Richardson made a mission of squeezing a table component into an otherwise tangled definition of "paddle wheel" games.  The wheel brought a common object and an operator or spinner before a group of people who register which bets they wished to make by placing their tickets in table slots.  Technically, it fit the statutory definition.  Roger Frank and Roger Swansen, the two top regulatory people agreed that it did not foul statute or equally convoluted rule.  Minnesota Tri-Wheel was authorized and off to spin itself into gaming wheel history.


The Tri-Wheel®, a wheel and table environment, provides a great common object for players to cheer or boo as their prospects revolve, ever more slowly, click, clicking toward one of the numbers or sets of numbers you wagered.  Players have been often seen to lift out of their seats as the possible win comes closer - sometimes only to throw themselves back into the chair when in the last couple of clicks the wheel rotates just past their bet.  Fun is what is being sold.


The Tri-Wheel is one of the lowest priced games a player can engage in.  At about 15 spins (random events) per hour, a player wagering a combination of individual numbers in the blue ring (12.5% operator advantage) totaling $10 per spin would statistically be paying  on average $18.75 per hour.  Of course in any given session a player could walk away net winning or losing a bit more.  That hour with pull tabs is likely to cost far more on statistical average.  Thus, social , affordable and fun are the key elements to the uniquely Minnesota Tri-Wheel®.


35 Years Later - Tri-Wheel® Refreshed


Electronic Paddle Wheels Authorized in Minnesota in 2012


True, but they have not been deployed.  While electronic paddle wheels were authorized in 2012 the statutory mandated use of paper tickets with each and every wager were a game stopper.  The paper tickets used for meat raffles are not a problem and really are quite efficient; however, the paper tickets required to be used by wheels played with a table are very expensive.  The tickets are secured inventory (meaning they represent money and therefore need to be handled as though they were cash).  While they do bring a third element in an accounting system (cash, ticket and chip sourced calculations) the cost of supple acquisition (whereby they are over 4¢ per) along with the labor in inventory tracking, accounting and auditing them eat a big percentage out of the game.

In 1993, two years after the Tri-Wheel® was authorized in North Dakota, the state eliminated the use of paper tickets and merely allowed the wagering to be conducted with chips.  The organization had rejected the high cost of tickets.  Since 1998 when we introduced the Pig Wheel® in North Dakota, Tri-Wheels were converted to Pig Wheels and expanded to approximately 70 wheel with table games.  Note that North Dakota has less than 1/7th the population of MN.

Using only chips presents a bit of another problem.  You simply do not have any gross wagering statistics when using chips alone and unless you have good surveillance, frequently monitored, false payouts (intentionally or otherwise) can occur.  Those who regulate "21" and the Pig Wheel in North Dakota know the shortcomings in the ability to audit the games.


The Better System


More Accountability and Real Time Monitoring


Use an electronic wheel, such as is already in MN statute and which eliminates the pitching (willful attempts by an operator to spin to a certain target) and environmentally induced bias taking a wheel out of balance.  Combine it with an electronic table that seats at least six players and is monitored by a dedicated wheel operator.  The wagering would be conducted with virtual chips and the payouts would be automatic and accurate.  The wheel operator would drop currency, help explain the game to new players, maintain a positive and entertaining experience for all players at the table and would determine when spins were to be made.  And, it can all be done less expensively.  see New Tri-Wheel® Table here.


And, because not all bars and restaurants have the traffic to warrant a dedicated wheel/table operation, we have a passive electronic wheel system that would be bar-opped.  See it here.


All other game types in Minnesota have functioning electronic adaptations


Why Not Paddle Wheels?


What the MN legislation proposed in 2019/2020 would do:

1.  Can reduce your effective gaming tax rate.

       For every dollar, after prize payout, you realize from wheel games, you bring down

       your effective tax rate.  Wheels are taxed at 8.5% and, increasingly, organizations are

       finding themselves in the 36% tax bracket.  If you have pretty hot sites, you really can

       benefit your overall organizational fundraising with wheel games.


2.  Allows us to offer a one-ticket-many-bet format, consolidate all of

     the bet selections of a player for up to 10 consecutive spins onto one


      This is accomplished by using the Player Selection Form whereby all of the players

      selections are indicated and then scanned into a terminal that records all of those

      selections and issues one ticket encompassing them.  This wagering system is accurate,

      easy and secure and allows for timely reporting and auditing of related transactions.

      This wagering  process will reduce tons of related imported paper consumption by

       over 95%.


3.  Allows the random generation of target numbers to be

     conducted on a central server and sent down to all of the wall

     mounted wheels on the network every 4 or 5 minutes.

      Brings regulatory oversight with regard for the efficacy of the random process to

      one central computer rather than hundreds of computers scattered about the

      state.  The central computer also keeps real transactional records including wagers and

      payouts made.


4.  Since one piece of paper, ticket, can represent several wagers

     instead of just one, we eliminated the prize limit per ticket and

     replace with prize per wager of $500 per $1 wager and $1000 per $2



5.  Enables electronic tables using multi-touch sensitive digital

     surfaces and virtual tickets or chips.

     Player approaches the table and provides cash for as many chips as they wish, not to

       exceed $2 per chip.  The chips are issued to their "home stack" at one of the designated

       positions at the table.  All chips in a player's possession are same value, established at

      the time of purchase.  The player moves the chips to designated areas on the table

       indicating where they wish to play.  The wheel operator calls for a simulated spin

       when they believe the betting is complete.  The table surface is locked from further

       input until the spin is completed.  Once the spin is stopped, the losing chips expand

      and poof in a cloud.  The winning chips expand and the payout quantity is indicated -

      followed by the chips moving on top of the player's home stack.  A player indicating a

      wish to cash out will have their chips removed to a position in front of the operator

      until a printed receipt for the value of chips is provided.  The player takes the receipt to

      the jar cashier or other designated party to redeem for cash.  Wheel operators are still

      used to take cash, print cash out receipts, order spins and provide instruction on how

      to play and to maintain a positive and entertaining experience with paddle wheel



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

     This will allow us to introduce our very popular Pig Wheel™ and potentially use some

       symbols (gophers, walleye, etc.) that are significant in Minnesota.


7.  Provides the Minnesota Gambling Control Board regulatory

     authority over all components, sales, distribution and operations of

     electronic wheels.


8.  In general, makes for a wheel games that are secure, efficient,

     regulatable, easily audited and inexpensive to operate.

What the legislation doesn't do:

1. Does not authorize electronic simulated paddle wheels.

     Those are already in statute, placed there in 2012.


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


3. Does not eliminate wheel operators.


4. Absolutely does not authorize, in any form, player activated wheel

    or gaming devices.


5.  Does not damage tribal casinos, whose swarm of lobbyists in

     Minnesota has opposed this as though it would kill their casinos.

For more information on legislation.......

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