Sports betting will also be an uphill battle in Minnesota. The Senate Finance Committee in the North Star State approved a sports betting initiative by a narrow margin of 5-4.
The Sports Betting Bills Differ as Time is Running Out
Minnesota’s legislative session ends on Monday, which means that there isn’t much time to iron out the differences. The sports betting bill that is sponsored by Sen. Roger Chamberlain allows tribal casinos and the state’s two-horse race tracks to offer mobile and retail sports gambling.
The problem with that aspect of the bill is the original bill gave online sports betting exclusively to tribes. The tribe wants to control the online sports betting market because it would generate more revenue for these tribal casinos while the race tracks and professional sports franchises stay out of it.
Other aspects of both bills remain the same in Minnesota. In an effort to drive out offshore sportsbooks and other illegal methods of wagering, the tax rate would be set at 10 percent for online and in-person wagering. A 10 percent tax rate is considered to be very low regarding industry standards.
Horse Racing Could Be a Deal-Breaker and Wasted Efforts
Minnesota may not legalize sports betting in 2022 as the clock is ticking. Besides allowing sports betting to take place in horse racing facilities, everything else seems to be on the same page.
Andy Platto, who is executive director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, represents 10 out of the 11 tribes, stated in a letter that the tribes don’t want any other parties to be involved when the market launches. This isn’t the first time MIGA tried to squander efforts pushed by other parties to be involved in the sports gambling market.
Sen. Chamberlain doesn’t want to give the idea of allowing sports betting to take place at the horse track facilities. He believes he and the tribal representatives can agree on a solution before the clock strikes zero on Monday. All parties must agree so the bill can be signed into law by Gov. Tim Walz.
What Will Minnesota Do With the Potential Revenue
If an agreement is made by Monday, Minnesota will be a part of the sports betting industry. Under the House bill, the revenue would go towards problem gambling assistance and funding youth sports programs. And other programs that need funding.
On the other hand, the Senate bill would evenly distribute the revenue between mental health treatment and charitable gambling organizations and events. Sports betting could generate the state a lot of money annually, but there could be some drawbacks.
Whoever controls the market needs to promote responsible gaming. Supporters of the Senate bill like the idea of funding gambling recovery programs. Lawmakers who want to bring sports betting to Minnesota still believe that sports betting will be legalized come Monday.
Many of Minnesota’s neighboring states offer some sort of sports betting, including South Dakota and Iowa. Wisconsin offers retail sports wagering in some locations. The Canadian province of Ontario offers sports betting.