Minnesota Governor Vows Support for Sports Betting Bill in 2024

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It’s no news that the gaming industry has turned out to be one of the most lucrative and biggest revenue generators in the United States. Hence, states that have yet to legalize sports betting are moving up to speed with their respective legislatures to ensure they benefit from this thriving market.

This leads us to the North Star State, where Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has revealed that he would lend his full support and approval to a sports betting bill if it were brought up in the 2024 legislative session. However, the likelihood of such a bill emerging is low, given that state lawmakers have repeatedly failed to sustain any legislation related to sports betting in recent years.

“I think the issue still is if they can get a bill through the house and senate that meets all those constituency needs. If they do, I’ve said I will sign it,” Walz told reporters on Monday.

The Minnesota Sports Betting Act 2.0

The legislative session for 2024 commenced earlier this week in Saint Paul, prompting observers to brace themselves for the unfolding developments in the sports betting landscape. Lawmakers have until May 20th to enact any legislation.

Senator Jermy Miller will introduce the Minnesota Sports Betting Act 2.0, which incorporates feedback from various stakeholders in the state, and this forwardness is motivated by the potential revenue that he believes could accrue to the state.

“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.

Representative Zach Stephenson introduced a bill last year that encountered numerous obstacles, particularly regarding concerns over whether tribal casinos should maintain exclusivity. Failing to navigate these challenges effectively led to the bill’s ultimate demise. Miller is now endeavoring to prevent a similar outcome. His proposed Sports Betting Act does not grant tribal exclusivity and aims to allow Native American tribes, racetracks, and sports teams to offer in-person betting at their facilities, capitalizing on the presence of major North American sports teams like the Minnesota Vikings in the state.

Under Miller’s Act 2.0, a state commissioner would oversee sports betting activities, with the authority to grant licenses to up to 11 sports betting operators, 11 platform providers, and 11 sports betting providers. Currently, Minnesota hosts several tribal casinos, making them prime locations for both retail sportsbooks and mobile sports betting sites.

License holders in Minnesota would be given the opportunity to engage in retail betting at horse racing tracks or professional sports stadiums through collaborative agreements with the respective track operators or sports teams. Such partnerships would enable license holders to leverage the established infrastructure and audience base of these venues, creating mutually beneficial arrangements that contribute to the growth and accessibility of Minnesota sports betting.

“We are the only state in the region where it remains fully illegal to bet on sports. This proposal is good for the tribes, it’s good for the tracks, and it’s good for the professional sports teams. Most importantly, it’s good for the folks who would like to bet on sports here in Minnesota.”

I’m just hoping to see more cooperation, more bipartisanship; there wasn’t much of that last year, and during my time in the majority, especially as the majority leader, I really focused on putting forward bipartisan solutions, and I’m hoping that we can get back to that,” Miller said at the WCCO Sunday Morning show.

Similar to numerous other US states where sports betting has been legalized, Act 2.0 proposes that Minnesota impose a 15% tax on the net revenue generated from sports bets placed within its borders. Furthermore, the Miller Bill suggests allocating a portion of the sports betting proceeds to support local charities, youth sports programs, and initiatives aimed at addressing problem gambling.

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About the Author
Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe

Tebearau Egbe is a seasoned gambling writer with over four years of experience. Armed with a Masters degree in philosophy, Egbe possesses a unique ability to dissect complex industry developments, distilling them into insightful narratives that captivate readers.

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