Following the introduction of HF2000 on Feb, 20, The Minnesota House Commerce, Finance, and Policy Committee advanced the sports betting bill to the House Judiciary and Civil Law Committee on Feb. 27.
The bill, introduced and sponsored by Rep. Zack Stephenson has support from the state’s 11 tribes and various professional sports teams. All 11 tribes will be eligible to receive one primary online sports betting license and have the option to partner with a commercial operator such as DraftKings or FanDuel, or operate their own sportsbook. Each tribe would also receive one retail license. No other retail betting parlors would be allowed in the state which notably leaves out Minnesota’s two horse racing tracks that conduct gambling: Running Aces in Columbus and Canterbury Park in Shakopee.
For all bets not placed on tribal lands (online bets), operators would be taxed 10%, while wagers placed on tribal lands would not be taxed at all.
G A M E D A Y 🐺 pic.twitter.com/0haEoRh8tH
Supporters Of HF2000
Andy Platto, Executive Director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Administration (MIGA) lent his support on behalf of the state’s tribes.
“Were your bill to become law, MIGA Tribes believe the resulting mobile and retail markets operated by Minnesota’s Tribal Nations would not only support Tribes, but would also provide a well-regulated and accessible market for the state’s sports bettors and a competitive market that is important to our state’s professional sports teams and market partners,” Platto wrote in a letter to Sen. Matt Klein, a co-author and supporter of the bill.
The state’s professional sports teams, including the Loons, Timberwolves, Lynx, Twins, Wild, and Vikings all signed a letter in support of the bill. “The Teams have a strong desire to work with the Tribes as fellow stakeholders to help establish a vibrant market that features as many betting brands as possible. As such, the Teams support tribal sports betting exclusivity, and empowering all Tribes to offer statewide mobile sports betting,” the letter wrote.
DraftKings’ Government Affairs Director David Prestwood said that DraftKings supports the bill as well.
— Minnesota Wild (@mnwild) February 28, 2023
Opposers Of HF2000
Unsurprisingly, given that horse tracks were left out as beneficiaries of the bill, representatives from Canterbury Park and Running Acres voiced their opposition.
“Adding new gaming options at Canterbury has never proved to be a threat to the tribal gaming,” testified Randy Sampson, chairman of Canterbury Park. “And these options just provide a different type of economic development. On the other hand, just ignoring horse racing when considering new forms of gaming can cause the loss of significant economic benefits to the Minnesota horse industry and to the state of Minnesota.”
Representatives from Running Acres did not support the legislation either, citing the exclusion of horse racing tracks as the reason.
“You have to think about that if we’re going to go beyond tribal exclusivity, it’s not just a question of the tracks,” Stephenson said in the meeting. “There are other stakeholders who would want licenses, and expanding gambling to that level probably is the area that would give a lot of legislators in both parties significant concerns.”
Other stakeholders include the sports teams. In the letter from the teams, they wrote “the Teams are opposed to expanding any form of sports betting licensure to other entities while not expanding those same licenses to Teams.”
Sen. Jeremy Miller, who introduced another sports betting bill last month that included the horse tracks said “I don’t believe tribal exclusivity without something for the tracks has the votes to pass in the Senate,” at the Feb. 20 introductory meeting.