NYBETTINGREPORT: Can Lawmakers In Minnesota Pass A Sports Betting Bill Through The State Senate In 2023?
Lawmakers and advocates for sports betting in Minnesota are heading into their legislative session with high hopes as they came fairly close in 2022. Rep. Zack Stephenson will take the lead once again as the bill cleared the House chamber but ran out of steam in the Senate chamber.
Could Passing an Initiative be Easier This Year?
The goal of passing a bill may have a clearer path this year as Stephenson’s Democratic-Farmer-Labor party took control of the chamber in the midterm elections. Once again, a similar bill will lead the charge.
Native American tribes will take control of the sports betting market, which basically gives them a monopoly. The sports betting bill that was brought in Minnesota last year would have allowed the state’s 11 federally recognized tribes to team up with mobile sportsbooks with the intention of establishing retail sportsbooks at their tribal casinos.
As of Wednesday, the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association reiterated its continuous support in a statement for sports betting in the Land of 10,000 Lakes. The previous effort was halted, mainly due to the provision to add horse racing to the mix.
Stephenson wanted sports betting to become part of everyday life in Minnesota as people have been placing wagers on offshore platforms. Wagers placed outside of tribal lands placed a 10 percent tax rate on mobile wagers. Bringing legalized sports betting would eliminate the need to use offshore sites, and the money generated could be used to fund programs.
Why are the Opposers Hesitant about Bringing Sports Betting Right Away?
Business operations will have supporters and opposers. Those who are against the sports gambling bill believe that bringing such a concept would create compulsive gamblers, which would damage many lives.
In addition, Minnesota has a $17.6 billion budget surplus for this year. The idea that sports betting would generate more revenue annually doesn’t cross the minds of many.
However, many states that border the state have a sports betting market, as Iowa is arguably the biggest market. To the north of the border, Ontario has become the catalyst in Canada, as many sportsbook operators conduct business there. In addition, Ohio has set the bar as many states across the nation look to follow suit.
Sports Betting Has a Plethora of Support in Minnesota
Minnesota is arguably an underrated sports market in the nation, as the many professional and collegiate programs call the state home. Also, in a survey conducted by KSTP/SurveyUSA in 2022, 64 percent of the respondents support sports wagering, which is more than some other states that missed their opportunity last year.
The MIGA will continue to support the cause as it will create more opportunities in the state. Minnesota will join a long list of states that will use their respective legislative sessions to make legalized sports gambling a top priority.