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Minnesota Lawmakers Fail to Pass Sports Betting Bill, Maybe Next Year

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated October 14, 2022
4 min read
Minnesota Lawmakers Fail Pass Sports Betting Bill
  • Monday, Minnesota Senate Failed to Pass Sports Betting Bill Before End of Session
  • Many Senators Opposed Tribal Exclusivity in Sports Betting Bill HF 778
  • Next MN Legislative Session in 2023, Meanwhile Resident Gamblers Will Bet Elsewhere

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Monday, Minnesota Senate Failed to Pass Sports Betting Bill Before End of Session

Looks like Minnesota sports bettors will have to continue sending their action out of state since their lawmakers are struggling to figure out how to bring a legal sports betting market there, a recent bill rejected by the Senate due to its threat to the tribal gaming monopoly that exists.

The Land of 10,000 Lakes still has zero legal sports betting access and residents who want to place those types of wagers have to either use an unregulated offshore sportsbook or else travel to a Minnesota state neighbor where it’s already legal for adults to do such things.

So, all that money leaves the state and goes to offshore banks or to North and South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, funds that could be taxed and used to benefit whatever needs the state deems worthy, the same as over thirty other U.S. states have already done.

Representative Patrick Garofalo recently Tweeted that this delay in bringing legal sports betting to Minnesota does not come down to a partisan issue:

Curse words aside, the anger is obviously palpable, but the reasons for the delay are less clear.

Many Senators Opposed Tribal Exclusivity in Sports Betting Bill Hf 778

A big reason for the delay in bringing legal sports betting to Minnesota is the pushback the state’s tribes have given against any measure that threatens their current gaming monopoly there, an understandable concern for a group that uses that money to survive and thrive.

There are eleven local tribes there who were not happy with the language of HF 778, the sports betting bill that was just rejected by the Senate after the Senate Finance Committee added an amendment that allowed for two racetracks to offer sports betting at their locations.

The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA) made it clear in a letter to the Senate that they wanted the original wording of the bill without the racetrack part, saying:

Therefore, nine of the ten MIGA tribes offer their full and active support for the current version of HF778, while one member of the Association does not. If amended by the A-22 amendment, which expands commercial gaming, all ten MIGA tribes would then oppose the legislation.

That was enough to sway the Senate into rejecting the amended HF778 on Monday just as the state’s legislative session came to a close and now that issue will have to be pushed back to the next scheduled session.

Next MN Legislative Session in 2023, Meanwhile Resident Gamblers Will Bet Elsewhere

Minnesota’s legislative session is about to end and the next one won’t take place until January 2023, so any talk of legalizing sports betting in the state will have to wait until then, bad news for any Gopher State punters looking to place some sports action near where they live.

That ensures the outward flow of all that handle, money that could be regulated and taxed with a legal market in place, something that Minnesota could have made happen since 2018 when the Supreme Court overturned PASPA and turned that choice over to the states.

If Minnesota’s tribes can share a major piece of that new action, then the chances of a related bill turning into law increases, but to hang onto that total gambling monopoly might be a deal breaker that keeps preventing such a legal market to find a home there.

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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
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