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Last week in Minnesota, there began a clear, bipartisan push by state lawmakers on both sides of the aisle to create and debate passable legislation in 2022 that would allow for a legal sports betting market there, a tricky proposition given the pushback prior attempts have received.
It makes sense that Minnesota’s native tribes have been against the state launching legal sports betting market for residents since that might threaten the monopoly they currently hold with at least a dozen-and-a-half tribal casinos now taking in gambling revenue.
But state tribes will play a critical part of any new sports betting bill that’s introduced, so their support is now expected as new bipartisan legislation begins the tedious journey towards becoming law.
Republican State Senator Roger Chamberlain, a sports betting proponent, told the media last Wednesday:
We are an island in the Midwest. The proposal here is good for the tribes, it’s good for the tracks and most importantly, it’s good for the consumers.
A number of sports betting bills are now beginning to see new legislative light.
Whatever objections to a Minnesota sports betting market certain parties may have, the reality is that the longer lawmakers and state tribes continue to stall, the more potential money they stand to lose, millions in revenue that could be taxed to fund projects that benefit state residents.
All signs point to ‘forward’ now with Sen. Chamberlain’s tribal-centric legislation working its way through Minnesota’s GOP-controlled Senate and Democratic Rep. Zack Stephenson’s version of a sports betting bill being created, one that he will soon introduce to members of the House.
It’s an inevitable direction to take given that MN residents love to gamble and over thirty other states have already launched legal sports betting market, and Rep. Stephenson wants his fellow lawmakers to see the writing on the wall, saying:
Momentum has been building. People recognize that it’s a question of when, not if, and that really has created a sense that we should probably get this done sooner rather than later.
Plenty of hurdles remain, though, before any sports betting bill becomes a law.
The key to a successful legal sports betting market launch in Minnesota seems to center around keeping the native tribes happy, and the way the Sen. Chamberlain Senate bill is worded, the tribal nations would essentially control the retail and mobile operations themselves.
In-person and mobile licensing would be done by the native tribes, all subject to state tax rates that will eventually be determined by all parties involved, a plan that will most likely be echoed in the House Bill that is currently being written by Stephenson.
According to Rep. Stephenson, chairman of the House Commerce Committee, a hearing in March seems likely where lawmakers will begin debating this issue again, and the bipartisan nature of everyone’s final goal – to make money – will hopefully keep everyone on track.
Keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this ongoing story.
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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. Email: [email protected]More info on Mike Lukas
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