Minnesota lawmakers are determined to bring the best 18+ sportsbooks to the state. Now that the legislature has backing from the state’s tribes, the path has been cleared to push forward!
House Representatives Zack Stephenson and Pat Garofalo spent much of the legislative offseason consulting with the state’s tribes and professional sports teams. In doing so, the two were able to hammer out a deal that worked for everyone.
The proposal was filed in February and has since picked up support in the chamber. Both of the lawmakers firmly believe that the legislation could pass some time this year. Stephenson told reporters the following in a press conference on Monday:
“It’s been a long road to get to this point, and there’s a long road in front of us…But we’ve got a lot of momentum, we’ve got a lot of support across the state. I can comfortably say that the stakeholders that I’ve talked to are interested in seeing this happen, and happen this year.”
The new sports betting laws would authorize the operation of both in-person and online wagering by Minnesota’s 11 gaming tribes. If approved, 18+ mobile sportsbooks would also be included in the launch.
Minnesota’s gaming tribes had long been wary of domestic betting, fearing that gaming could ultimately be diverted away from casinos and into the hands of commercial operators.
But the bipartisan measure proposed by Stephenson and Garofalo takes a whole new approach, giving the tribes full control over the industry. In turn, the state would receive a small cut of the gambling proceeds, which has yet to be determined.
Stephenson’s bill was recently met by a similar measure in the Senate, sponsored by Senator Roger Chamberlain. On March 4th, the Senator proposed a slightly different framework that would allow for betting at the state’s horse tracks.
He claims that bettors deserve a wider variety of sportsbook options and locations.
Still, the time is beginning to run thin for lawmakers to decide on a measure if any at all. The Minnesota legislative session is set to end sometime in mid-May.
With only two months to push a bill to law, members of both chambers will have to prioritize the legislation to get it done in time. Even so, Chamberlain remains optimistic. He says,
“I welcome the Democrats to the table, and we’ll work together to write legislation that can get this done…However, the offer in its current form will not give the consumer a good product.”
Residents could very well see local betting facilities up and running by the time the NFL season rolls around. But until Minnesota 18+ sports betting is legalized, players can still count on offshore sites to get the job done.
Source: Star Tribune