Minnesota Lawmaker Proposes New Sports Betting Bill Sans Tribal Exclusivity

Minnesota Sports Betting Act

On Jan. 31, Minnesota Senator Jeremy Miller introduced a sports betting bill – the Minnesota Sports Betting Act – in the state’s newest effort to get sports betting legalized. The bill is in the final stages of being drafted.

“It’s time to authorize sports betting here in Minnesota. I believe this proposal, or something similar, can gain the bipartisan support necessary to get it done,” Miller said in a press conference. “This proposal is good for the tribes, it’s good for the tracks, it’s good for the professional sports teams, and most importantly, it’s good for the people in Minnesota who want to bet on sports. This is long overdue and the time to get it done is now.

The Minnesota Sports Betting Act would grant the states’ 11 tribes, two horse racing tracks, and six Minnesota professional sports teams, the ability to offer retail sports betting. Additionally, all 11 tribes will be eligible to receive one primary online sports betting license and one partnership license that would allow the tribe to partner with a horse track or sports team to offer online sports betting.

The Minnesota Sports Betting Act would also allow for a temporary on-site license when major sporting events come to the state such as the Super Bowl, PGA Tour events, Final Four, Big 10 Championships, WWE, and others.

Sports betting tax revenues would be split equally among four main areas: 25% to provide tax relief for charitable gaming, 25% for youth sports grants, 25% for mental health and problem gambling support, and 25% to bring major sporting events to Minnesota.

Previous Sports Betting Effort & Conflict

In 2022, the Minnesota House of Representatives approved HF 778, which if it had passed the Senate, would have given the state’s 11 tribes exclusivity over the sports betting market; sports teams and race tracks would not be allowed to take bets.

During the 2022 legislative session, the Senate proposed an amendment (A-22) to HF 778 that would expand sports betting to the state’s race tracks. The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA) sent a letter to the Senate Finance Committee in response to the proposed amendment, announcing they would oppose any legislation that did not grant them exclusive sports betting control.

“Nine of the 10 MIGA tribes offer their full and active support for the current version of HF 778, while one member of the association does not. If amended by the A-22 amendment, which expands commercial gaming, all 10 MIGA tribes would then oppose the legislation,” the letter read.

Tribal Exclusivity Differences

Miller commented on the issue of tribal exclusivity in the state: “I don’t think the tribal exclusivity bill has the support to pass the legislature.” Meanwhile, Miller said he has had conversations with both Republicans and Democrats, and there seems to be “a lot of interest” in the Minnesota Sports Betting Act.

The inclusion of sports teams and racing tracks is part of an effort “to provide access to as many Minnesotans who want the ability to bet on sports, to engage in that fan experience” as possible.

“To me this is a huge win for all the stakeholders and it’s an even bigger win for those Minnesotans who want to bet on sports,” Miller said. “There’s a piece of the action for everyone”

Mia Fowler is a graduate of Chapman University where she studied business marketing and journalism and played on the women’s soccer team. Following her 16-year journey with soccer, she started writing for Lineups.com. She specifically enjoys analysis of the NFL.

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