Minnesota Sports Betting
As we approach the end of 2018 and get ready for the New Year, many states in the U.S. are preparing to enter the legal sports betting market. Another state could be ready to join the sports betting club. The state? Minnesota

One unique thing about Minnesota, though, is that they have a House majority consisting of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party (DLF), which could be an x-factor in passing a sports gambling bill.

Sports Betting Framework Is Not Set

With that said, GOP Senator Roger Chamberlain who also heads up the State Taxes Committee, says that a bill should pass. “We have a rough draft. We’ll get it in and then we’ll make the tweaks as we go,” he said.

Chamberlain expects many different forms of the legislative body to work on the Minnesota Sports Betting Bill. “It’s touching a lot of folks, and when you’ve got a lot of money involved then people get a little concerned,” he said. “But I think there’s popular support for it. Admittedly, this is not the top of the list for priorities … but it is certainly something that can get done.” He continued saying, “Look, it’s fun. It’s about opinions. People have opinions and they’re investing in their opinions. That’s what sports betting is all about.”

Where Will Sports Betting Revenue Go?

While they’re open to bringing sports betting to the state, they acknowledge that they are unsure what kind of money would come to the state. Chamberlain pointed to the success of Nevada, but with more betting being legalized, that will decrease by a bit, undoubtedly.

The state still isn’t sure as far as most of the semantics go, including tax rates. They had a bill in the past that involved a one percent tax, but that was based on the total handle of bets.

Rep. Pat Garofalo brought the bill originally with an estimated $2 billion wagered in the system. Chamberlain notes that they need to find a happy medium to help generate state revenue, but also not to deter customers from betting due to high costs. Congress could, theoretically, pass something for a country-wide system, but it appears we’ll be going state-by-state.

Laurie Halverson, Incoming Commerce Committee Chair and a member of the DLF party, said there is currently no bill in the House and said it was an “interesting” issue.
Halverson also said they’re interested in cost and what it would bring to the state, a common thought when it comes to sports betting.

Minnesota Tribal Sports Betting

Another factor that will come to light as this develops is getting support from the 11 Indian tribes in the state. Their agreements would the state would likely need to be altered in some way should sports betting become legal in the state.

However, the current legislation does not require consent from the tribes for states to allow sports gambling in outlets that are not tribe ran. With that said, Kevin Quigley, a lawyer from the state specializing in Indian affairs said, “But politics being politics, tribes would have an interest in participating with this new form of gaming.”

Online Sportsbooks & Mobile Apps

When it comes to sports betting and having tribes involved, mobile betting could be a unique issue, though. Would it be similar to New Jersey in that you just need to be within state parameters, or would there be separate laws for betting on reservations versus the state as a whole?

Chamberlain has said to have had positive meetings with the tribes, though. “I think they most definitely are interested,” Chamberlain said. “It will benefit the tribes and it will benefit Buffalo Wild Wings or anyone who decides to open an online sportsbook. It is a totally different type of gambling than slot machines and cards.”

Garofalo, who originally brought the bill, did mention that his bill was nothing more than a “starting point”. Universities such as the University of Minnesota will have a say whether they’re included as far as a team that could be bet on. He also mentioned restricting betting on elections and said that it would be wise to get the tribes involved in the legislation.

At this point, there seems to be more questions than answers when it comes to bringing sports betting to Minnesota in 2019 as we close out 2018.

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