Lawmaker redoubles efforts to legalize sports betting in Minnesota in next session

Minnesota Senate revives sports betting bill

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Minnesota State Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) has announced his renewed intentions to help advance legal sports betting in Minnesota, after similar efforts missed the finish line last time around.

Miller unveiled the Minnesota Sports Betting Act 2.0 on Wednesday, which he says includes modifications based on the feedback he received from constituents, legislators, and other stakeholders.

"Minnesota continues to miss out on what is now a $100 billion industry. So far, 38 other states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., have already legalized sports betting," Miller said.

RELATED: New sports betting proposal would give horse racing tracks gives share of revenue in effort to move bill forward

In 2023, there were multiple bills which aimed to move Minnesota further into legalized sports betting, but they differed on key points, including the level to which the state's Native American tribes, which own casinos, would have exclusive access to state licenses for operation.

"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," Miller said. "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."

Miller said that the new bill includes:

  • "Licensing opportunities for Minnesota's 11 tribal nations to offer retail and mobile sports betting. License holders would also have the option to operate retail betting on the premises of horse racing tracks or professional sports stadiums in Minnesota, pursuant to a partnership agreement with the track operator or sports team to whom the facility pertains.
  • "A 15% tax rate on sports betting revenue, which is broadly in line with the national average.
  • "Tax proceeds would provide charitable gaming tax relief for local charities, attract major sporting events to the state, boost horse racing, provide problem gambling resources, support youth sports, and facilitate athlete education programs.
  • "Restoring some of the controversial charitable gaming options that were eliminated by the 2023 tax bill, including free plays and bonus games on electronic pull-tabs."

In last year's session, Sen. Matt Klein introduced an amendment to legislation that would have given the state's horse racing tracks a slice of the sports gambling revenue, since they were left out of the deal to operate sportsbooks, calling it a "best faith effort" to accommodate them. Their participation in a sports gambling market was considered a sticking point for some Republicans.

Some opponents of legalization argue that poorer people are at a higher risk for gambling addiction. According to the Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling, 250,000 Minnesotans have problems with gambling.

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