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Company ordered to halt operation of nearly 500 pull-tab machines in North Dakota

BISMARCK — The North Dakota Attorney General's Office has suspended the license of a California-based gaming company after finding that the company's electronic pull-tab devices relied on pirated software.

The attorney general's office has been investigating Powerhouse Gaming Inc. since May, after the office received a tip that the company was using illegal software on its electronic pull-tab machines, the office said Wednesday in a statement.

Officials from the gaming division of the attorney general's office inspected Powerhouse machines and found that they relied on a software called KMS, which Microsoft flags as a software hack. Microsoft has also issued a cease-and-desist order against Powerhouse Gaming.

“North Dakotans, and my office, expect gaming operators to completely comply with our laws. Any violators will be held accountable,” Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem said in the statement.

Powerhouse Gaming was one of only five gaming companies licensed to manufacture the newly popular electronic pull-tab devices in North Dakota, with 489 devices in their operation statewide. The company will be barred from operating in North Dakota until they can prove to authorities that they are in compliance with state gambling laws.

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