Just months after lawmakers couldn’t agree on a sports betting bill, Minnesotans say they want to legalize sports betting.
This week, the Minnesota-based Star Tribune released the results of a survey of 800 registered voters. Among the questions, the survey asked, “Do you think Minnesota should or should not legalize gambling on sports?” To that question, 48% of those surveyed responded, “Should.”
Only one group of voters in the survey was split on whether they wanted sports gambling in Minnesota. Voters from Southern Minnesota were 39% for and 39% against sports betting.
Majority of Trump voters want MN sports betting
The survey provided a breakdown of how location, gender, party affiliation, age, education, race and 2020 presidential voting affected how people responded to the survey.
Fifty-two percent of those who voted for Donald Trump in 2020 said they favor sports betting compared to 45% of those who voted for President Joe Biden. Twenty percent of Biden voters said they were “not sure” if the state should legalize sports betting, while 15% of Trump voters weren’t sure.
Party-wise, 53% of Democrats thought sports betting should be legal, while 50% of Republicans and 40% of independents did.
Youngest voters say no to Minnesota sports betting
Perhaps the most interesting finding in the survey is that the youngest voters were the most against sports betting. According to the survey, 44% of respondents ages 18-34 said sports wagering should be legalized, while 41% said it shouldn’t. The group was among the most decisive, too: Only 15% of respondents said they were unsure.
The most supportive group were respondents ages 35-49, of which 52% said they supported legalized sports betting while 31% said they didn’t.
Those 65 or older were an interesting group because 26% of them said they weren’t sure if sports wagering should be legalized. That 26% uncertainty share was the biggest of any group surveyed.
Education makes a slight difference
The survey showed that 49% of those with no college want sports betting, while 46% said they didn’t. As for those who didn’t think sports wagering should be legal, the numbers were 33% and 34%, respectively.
Will sports betting become legal in Minnesota?
Lawmakers tried to pass sports betting earlier this year. The House and Senate approved the bills; however, neither bill made it to Gov. Tim Walz‘s desk.
The House bill looked promising. It passed on a bipartisan vote and included input from tribal nations in the state. However, the Senate did not approve the bill.
Rep. Zack Stephenson told the Star Tribune that legalizing sports betting was a crucial step in curbing the state’s black market.
“What this bill is about is creating a legal marketplace that will displace that black market and, in doing so, provide consumer protection, ensure the integrity of the game and limit money laundering and other illicit activity,” he said.
Minnesota is on an island in terms of sports betting legalization. All the states surrounding it — North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and Michigan — offer legal sports betting.