Minnesota governor commits to signing sports betting bill

Minnesota and USA flags

Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz will sign the sports betting law into law if lawmakers propose a bill. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Walz optimistic

While many attempts to legalize sports betting in Minnesota over the years have failed, Gov. Tim Walz has committed to signing a bill if lawmakers can pass a bill during the session that began Monday and runs through May 20 .

Ensuring tribes and other potential stakeholders are happy

His primary concern is ensuring that tribes and other potential stakeholders are satisfied with the proposed plan. As for the chances of success, Walz said, “I expect they’ll probably be close to achieving something.”

The Minnesota Department of Revenue estimates that legal sports betting could generate about $400 million in revenue for operators after a few years, which at a 15% tax rate would result in $60 million in annual tax revenue.

Plans in progress

Lawmakers are already moving the issue forward, and people on both sides of the political spectrum are eager to reach an agreement. Senate Bill 3803, also known as the Minnesota Sports Betting Act 2.0, would allow sports teams, race tracks and tribes to conduct retail sports betting. The bill is currently in the State and Local Government and Veterans Affairs Committee.

Senator Matt Klein plans to introduce a bill that would address last year’s concerns about problem gambling. He noted that in states with legal markets, participation rates in sports betting are largely the same as before legalization because people previously used black market alternatives.

Gain support

Numerous proposals did not receive the necessary support from lawmakers last year. Among the key differences between the various plans is the degree of exclusivity that tribes in the state would have over the sector.

Many prominent Minnesota lawmakers are optimistic that a sports betting law will pass in 2024; House Speaker Melissa Hortman believes the chance is 60%.

The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association also supports legalization, saying in a statement this week that it looks forward to working with stakeholders to create a model that would “benefit Minnesotans while protecting tribal-based Indian gaming operations.” – and rural communities depend on them for jobs and economic health.”


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