Former DFL Senator Karla Bigham on Legal MN Sports Gambling: “Bet on it.”

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated December 30, 2022
3 min read
  • Former DFL Senator Karla Bigham Tells MN Media Legal Sports Betting Likely

  • Legal Sports Betting Seen as a Potential Revenue Source for State Government

  • Sen. Bigham also “Betting On” Allowing Native Tribes to Control Sports Betting

Karla Bigham Minnesota Sports Gambling

So far, over 30 U.S. states and counting have jumped in the legal sports betting pool yet Minnesota still paces the sidelines refusing to take the leap into regulating and taxing the activity in which many residents are already partaking, the pushback from native tribes a big reason.

That could change in 2023 with the right legislation in play, especially given that the Democrats are about to control both the state Senate and the House, so the likelihood of legalizing sports betting just increased into a probability as reported recently by Tom Hauser of KSTP.

That optimism springs forth from (soon to be) former DFL Senator Karla Bigham of Cottage Grove who was just asked by KSTP about whether she thought legal sports betting would be coming soon to Minnesota, and her direct answer should excite Gopher State gamblers:

“If I was betting that’s what I would bet on.”

It’s one of many clear signs that it’s now a matter of when, not if, that industry will make its way to the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

KSTP also talked to Carleton College Political Analyst Steven Schier who has watched Minnesota’s state neighbors all successfully legalize, regulate, launch, and tax their own sports betting markets including North and South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Iowa.

Schier seems to understand that the current setup does not prevent sports gambling in Minnesota, but instead only gives other options to resident sports bettors, telling KSTP:

“The fact that it has been occurring in other states gives it increased momentum in Minnesota. I think sports betting becomes more possible…it’s also a revenue source for state government, something Democrats are always looking for.”

The main pushback on this potential multi-million dollar state income stream comes from the native tribes who live in Minnesota and are understandably concerned about where they fit in with regards to this possible cash cow being created.

Sen. Bigham also “Betting On” Allowing Native Tribes to Control Sports Betting

Sen. Bigham told KSTP News that she would “also bet that the legislation will be primarily focused on allowing Native American tribes to control most of the sports betting with legislation giving them the ability to partner with non-tribal entities like horse tracks or sports leagues.”

There’s plenty of room in the U.S. sports betting pool and the water is only now starting to warm up as the various states already launched and running are learning how to tweak their sports betting markets to best fit their region and residents.

As for Minnesota, its 93rd Legislature is scheduled to reconvene starting on Jan. 3, 2023, so expect the Democrats in charge to (at the very least) bring up the topic for more debates and compromises, so that bettors there can begin making wagers from the comfort of their couches.

The fate of Minnesota sports betting is an unfolding story, so be sure to keep checking back for all the latest news and updates and we will do our best to keep you in the 10,000 Lake loop.

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Mike Lukas

Sports Betting & Gambling Industry Analyst

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Mike Lukas is a retired standup comedian turned freelance writer now living in Dallas, Texas, originally from Cleveland, Ohio. His love for the game of football and all things Cleveland Browns turned Mike into a pro blogger years ago. Now Mike enjoys writing about all thirty-two NFL teams, hoping to help football gamblers gain a slight edge in their pursuit of the perfect wager.
Nationality: American
Education: N/A
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Favourite Casino: Caesars Palace Casino
23 years
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