Minnesota lawmakers have introduced new bills that attempt to legalize mobile sports betting in the state. The linked bills were filed in the House and Senate on Monday. House Bill 2000 (HF 2000) has been referred to the Commerce Finance and Policy committee, while Senate Bill 1949 (SF 1949) has gone to the State and Local Government and Veterans committee.
as many as 11 online sports betting licenses for tribes
The bills seek to allow for as many as 11 online sports betting licenses for tribes in the state that have Class III gaming licenses. Each license would be valid for 20 years. Another 11 online licenses would also be available for online sportsbook platform providers that partner with a tribe. These licenses would be valid for three years.
The knock-on impact of the bills
If the bills get sufficient support, Minnesota governor Tim Walz would have to negotiate new state-tribal gaming compacts. The existing compacts that came into effect on January 1, 2023 cannot be changed to accommodate sports betting.
While any revenue from bets placed on tribal land will not be subject to state tax, the bills propose a 10% tax rate on the net revenue of online sportsbooks elsewhere in the state. The plan is for some of the resulting tax revenue to be used to conduct studies into gambling activity, focusing on young gamblers.
These are not the first sports betting-related proposals in Minnesota since the start of the year. Senator Jeremy Miller reportedly plans to introduce a bill titled “Minnesota Sports Betting Act,” which would give commercial entities, such as professional sports teams and horse racing tracks, a greater role in legal sports betting.
Minnesota has fallen behind neighboring states
Miller believes that his proposal is good for all parties and that Minnesota has fallen behind neighboring states by not having legal sports betting. Representative Zack Stephenson filed HF 2000 on Monday after his attempts to push through sports betting legislation last year were unsuccessful.
One of the lawmakers who helped put a halt to last year’s bill was Senator Miller. The big stumbling block was attempts by the Miller-led Senate to expand Stephenson’s bill to give horse racing tracks access to the sports betting market.