Minnesota is one of the five US states considering online sports betting with the highest chances of legalization this year.
Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) said he plans to introduce Minnesota Sports Betting Act 2.0, an updated version of the sports betting bill. Miller said he would introduce the new bill as soon as the legislative session begins on Feb. 12.
A few bills in 2023 attempted to move Minnesota further into legalized sports betting, but they failed. This time, Miller said he made modifications based on the feedback from constituents, legislators and other stakeholders.
What does the new Minnesota sports betting bill include?
A description of the bill involves:
- Licensing opportunities for all 11 tribal nations in Minnesota to offer retail and online sports betting
- A 15% tax rate, with money going towards local charities, youth sports, and resources for gambling addicts. The 2023 version proposed a 10% tax rate.
- Reintroducing charitable gaming options removed from the 2023 tax bill, including free plays and bonus games on electronic pull tabs. As estimated, Minnesota could make about $30 million annually, investing half the revenue to address problem gambling and half to support youth athletics.
Under this proposal, racetracks would have to team up with a tribal nation to operate retail betting on the premises of horse racing tracks or professional sports stadiums in Minnesota.
According to a post by the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus, Miller said in the announcement:
“This updated proposal combines ideas from my original Minnesota Sports Betting Act along with provisions from other sports betting bills that were introduced last session. The goal of this proposal is to bring folks together to work toward a bipartisan solution to legalize sports betting in Minnesota. I strongly believe we can get it done this year.”
Minnesota bill could get bipartisan support
All the previous efforts by Rep. Zack Stephenson (HF 2000) and Sen. Matt Klein (SF 1949) carry over into this year.
Unlike other bills, the Minnesota sports betting bill might get bipartisan approval. It would still require an agreement between Indian tribes and horse racetracks and for them to work out the revenue percentage and restrictions going to tracks.
According to the KSTP-TV news article, Klein (DFL-Mendota Heights) said: “I think it’s an opening offer in what will be a quick early-session negotiation.”
The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association hasn’t assessed the latest bill yet. However, Miller remains optimistic, thinking all sides will agree. According to a CBS News post, he said:
“Minnesota continues to miss out on what is now a $100 billion industry. So far, 38 other states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, have already legalized sports betting.”