Last updated: June 1, 2020
Status: A bill to legalize sports betting in Minnesota passed the first stage of the legislature in May 2019 and will now move forward to the state Senate committee. However, supporters may face opposition from the state’s tribal gaming groups.
ETA: If a deal can be struck with Minnesota’s 11 federally recognized tribes, legal sports betting could be up and running by 2021.
The US Supreme Court removed a federal sports gambling ban last spring and eight states already have legalized betting, with six more ready to follow soon.
A draft sports betting bill was already circulating in Minnesota in April 2018. The bill proposed the legalization of sports wagering, mobile betting and the creation of a commission to oversee activity.
More Minnesota sports bills were introduced in 2019 and the draft that made it past the house committee in May set out plans to make sports betting legal at horse racing tracks, Native American casinos and via mobile phones. Despite the inclusion of tribal casinos in the bill, the tribes involved have opposed off-reservation gambling for over two decades and are set to oppose the bill unless some kind of compromise can be met.
There are differing opinions about the chances of the bill actually making it to the law, but with other states with tribal gaming already finding solutions, it is hoped by supporters that Minnesota can also work out a compromise that suits all stakeholders.
Charitable gaming was legalized in Minnesota in 1945, paving the way for organisations to raise funds through bingo and raffle-type games. This industry is now worth billions in the state. In 1947, however, slot machines were officially banned from the state.
Minnesota is home to 11 Native American tribes and they have been running gaming establishments in the state since the early 1980s. Originally, this was limited to high-stakes bingo parlors and soon expanded to include video gaming, blackjack and card games./p>
There are now 21 tribal casinos in Minnesota, but commercial non-tribal casinos are not permitted. This monopoly is under threat as a result of the sports betting bill.
Pari-mutuel betting on horse races is legal, although it was outlawed until the 1980s. A lottery bill was first introduced in 1972 and this was amended via referendum in 1988, when voters approved a state lottery that dedicated half of its revenue to the environmental trust fund and half to the Greater Minnesota Corporation. In 1990, Minnesota joined the Multi-State Lottery Association (MUSL) and began offering multi-state lotteries such as Powerball.
Sports betting is not permitted in Minnesota. However, a bill to change that cleared the first hurdle in May 2019.
No one currently controls sports gambling in Minnesota. However, a Minnesota Sports Wagering Commission would be created to implement rules and regulations for the tribal casinos.
The bill lays out a minimum betting age of 18 years old.
You cannot legally bet on sports in Minnesota.
There are no current operators in Minnesota, but under the new bill, tribal casinos will be issued licenses to offer sports betting.
No casino or sportsbook operators currently offer legal sports betting in the state.
The proposed bill specifically allows for mobile betting as well as wagering at land-based casinos.
It’s not clear how much revenue could be raised by the state legalized sports betting. Analysis of the bill by the Minnesota Department of Revenue concluded the financial impact was unknown.
The Minnesota sports betting bill sets a tax rate of 6.75%, which would put it in line with the lowest in the country.
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