2021 has been another big year for the sports betting industry, and Minnesota is hoping to keep the trend going in 2022. Minnesota lawmakers have not been able to make much progress in getting the industry legalized, but that could all change next year.
Representative Zack Stephenson recently spoke to reporters and made it clear that he believes the state should approve sports betting. Stephenson is the chair of the Commerce Committee in the House, and he will play a key role in getting this industry up and running.
Minnesota has seen a number of neighboring or border states legalize sports betting, and it is in danger of falling way behind. There are 32 different states that currently have legal sports betting, and Minnesota will be looking to become the next.
Senator Roger Chamberlain has also introduced previous legislation centered around sports betting, and he plans to do it again in 2022 as well. Each bill will likely have some differences, but mobile betting will be included in each.
Native American Tribes Opposed
The biggest reason that sports betting has not yet been legalized in Minnesota is that Native American tribes have been opposed. The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association has made some statements in recent weeks that might signal a change in that position.
Other states have seen positive sports betting agreements between states and Native American tribes, and Minnesota can follow that lead. There are still some issues that could mess up the negotiations, but there is much more optimism heading into 2022.
Plenty of Teams to Drive Betting
One big advantage that Minnesota would have when it comes to legal sports betting is that this state is home to a number of professional sports teams. Football is obviously the biggest betting market in the US, but hockey is also extremely popular in the state.
The Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Wild would become two teams that would drive sports betting and get the state off to a good start. The Twins and the Timberwolves are two other teams that have a large following in Minnesota and would help attract wagers as well.
It’s unclear if betting on college sports would be included in any bill, but that could add another popular betting market.
New Legislative Session Starts in January
The next legislative session isn’t set to begin until January 21, 2022, and that will be the first time a new bill can be brought up. The House Commerce Committee is expected to study sports betting over the next 90 days have a comprehensive bill ready to go on that date.
The COVID-19 pandemic has continued to be at the center of many discussions for lawmakers in Minnesota, but there is hope that it will start to fade out. There will be a number of new bills introduced once the legislative session begins, but this topic has already garnered some interest.
Expect a pair of bills to be introduced right away, and the legislators in Minnesota will have to narrow the focus on just one piece of legislation to get things moving forward.