Lawmakers say Minnesota is the only state in our region that does not allow sports betting.
SAINT PAUL, Minnesota — Minnesota lawmakers who supported legalizing sports betting took another try this year.
State Senator Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) plans to introduce the Minnesota Sports Betting Act to legalize sports betting in the state.
Similar efforts to bring legal sports betting to Minnesota have failed in recent years.
Thirty-six states have legalized sports betting since the Supreme Court struck down a federal law that effectively banned sports betting in most states in 2018.
Senator Miller said Minnesota is the only state in our region that does not allow sports betting.
“It’s time to authorize sports betting in Minnesota. Minnesota is lagging behind as other states begin to authorize sports betting,” Sen. Miller said at a news conference. “We are the only state in the region where sports betting is still completely illegal. The Minnesota Sports Betting Act is a fair and responsible proposal to authorize sports betting in Minnesota. It’s good for the tribes, it’s good for the racetracks, it’s Good for professional sports teams and most importantly, good for people who want to bet on sports in Minnesota. This is long overdue and about time!”
Miller’s bill would allow live sports betting at the casinos of 11 Native American tribes in Minnesota. Each clan also has the option to play online.
Tribes “also have the option to acquire a partner mobile license that allows them to partner with Minnesota professional sports teams or racetracks for mobile sports betting. Tribes can use a primary mobile license, a partner mobile license, or both of,” according to a press release.
A representative of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association said at a news conference Tuesday that while they won’t comment on the announcement because they haven’t seen the bill, they traditionally only support reservation gambling.
In a statement released earlier this month, MIGA said: “The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association and its nine member tribal states support state efforts to authorize sports betting at tribal gaming locations and via online/mobile platforms. Tribes most Ability to deliver this new product MIGA and its members will closely monitor developments in state legislation and look forward to working with other stakeholders to develop an approach that benefits Minnesotans while protecting the Indians that tribal and rural communities depend on for jobs and economic development The gaming business is healthy.”
Two Minnesota racetracks will allow live sports betting: Canterbury Park in Shakopee and Running Aces in Columbus.
The bill would also provide Minnesota sports teams with temporary licenses for live betting and major sporting events, “such as Super Bowls, Final Fours, Big Ten tournaments, PGA events, WWE events, etc.,” according to the release.
Senator Miller said residents are now traveling across state lines or finding “illegal workarounds” online to place bets. He said legalization would make it “safe, structured and regulated”.
Senator Miller’s bill says funds from legal sports betting would be distributed as follows: “25 percent for tax breaks for charities, 25 percent for mental health and problem gambling support, 25 percent for major sporting events and 25 percent for grants in support of youth sports across the state,” the release said.
Miller said it had bipartisan support, but said he hadn’t shown the proposal to others because he was finalizing the bill’s wording.
However, others point out that there is also bipartisan opposition to it.
Republican Rep. Greg Davis said gambling disproportionately hurts low-income families, but he didn’t know if his hope that that wouldn’t come true was realistic.
“This is probably the era it’s going through,” he said. “I’ve lost and won before. I think we have a lot of games now. There’s a lot of opportunity. I’m not saying go back and abolish the games we have, but we certainly don’t need to.”
But Zack Stephenson of DFL-Coon Rapids, which introduced a similar bill in the last legislative session, said he appreciates Miller bringing it up again.
“Minnesotans deserve the opportunity to safely and legally wager on sports, just like residents of the 30-plus other states,” he said. “I hope 2023 is the year we get the job done.”
To give an idea of how much sports betting could bring to Minnesota, Iowa legalized sports betting back in 2019. The state generated $143.7 million through the first eleven months of 2022, according to the American Gaming Association.