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Minnesota Sports Betting Bill Clears First Major Hurdle

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on February 28, 2023
Minnesota Sports Betting Bill Clears First Major Hurdle

Things are looking up for Minnesota sports betting as it clears its first hurdle on the road to legalization.

On Monday, the House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee passed a bill giving Minnesota tribes exclusive control over sports betting. 

The bill, HF 2000, would legalize retail and online sports betting on tribal land and institute a betting age of 21 years or older. The House committee passed the bill with a 10-6 vote. The bill now heads to the House Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee. 

Outline of passed legislation

Introduced by Rep. Zack Stephensonthe bill creates 11 online sports betting licenses, one for each tribe. Other details include:

  • Taxes for online gambling at a 10% rate (the state doesn’t tax bets placed on tribal lands)
  • Eleven mobile sports betting platform providers and sports betting suppliers pay $38,250 for an initial three-year license, and a $6,000 application fee, renewable for $25,500
  • Mobile sports betting apps must clearly display the brand of the tribal operator
  • Governors must enter into compacts with tribes to offer retail sports betting at their 19 tribal casinos

The bill is similar to legislation introduced and passed by the House last year. “Last year, legalized sports betting passed the House with (a) bipartisan majority but stalled out in the Senate,” Stephenson said. “We’re back this year and intend to finish the job.”

Opposition to legal tribal Minnesota sports betting remains

During Monday’s committee meeting, lawmakers heard testimony from DraftKings and the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association. Lawmakers also heard from Leah Patton, executive director of the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition.

Patton, who is firmly against the legalization of sports betting, said it would create more problem gamblers. 

“[Sports betting] would bring access to gambling into every home, school, and workplace in our state 24 hours a day. We believe this will create more problem gamblers and intensify the struggle of those already dealing with gambling addictions.”

Although concerned about the effects of gambling, Patton was pleased the bill would institute a minimum gambling age of 21.

Photo by PlayUSA
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Nicholaus Garcia

Nick Garcia is a senior reporter for PlayUSA. Garcia provides analysis and in-depth coverage of the gambling industry with a key focus on online casinos, sports betting and financial markets. Garcia has been covering the US gambling market since 2017. He attended Texas Tech University as an undergrad and received a Master of Arts in Journalism from Columbia College Chicago.

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