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Minnesota Sports Betting Bill Unlikely to Pass in 2024

Written by: Michael Savio
Published May 3, 2024
7 min read

It appears Minnesota will need to wait at least one more year for legal sports betting.

The latest effort to legalize sports betting in the Land of 10,000 Lakes was advanced in the House earlier this week, but expectations for it to become law have dwindled as familiar issues continue to arise.

“It’s just one of those bills where we had supporters and opponents both on the Democratic side and on the Republican side,” Sen. Klein told MPR News. “We were going to try to thread that needle and make it work, but time is getting short.”

Minnesota Sports Betting Bill Unlikely to Pass in 2024

One of the biggest roadblocks to legal sports betting in Minnesota is a battle between tribal casinos and locally-owned race tracks. The battle has gotten heated over the use of Historical Horse Racing (HHR) games, which allow bettors to wager on classic races. Both sides have flexed their political muscle, leading to an uphill battle for legal sports betting.

In addition to the battle over HHR games, legislatures on both sides are beginning to back away from the bill over problem gambling. The country has seen a massive spike in gambling addictions and scandals that have states scrambling to increase regulations to combat it. 

That has convinced members of both parties to back off from supporting the bill until a roadmap is established to avoid the pitfalls that other states are currently experiencing.

Minnesota Could Look for Ballot Initiative to Legalize Sports Betting

Given the loss of support for sports betting, it could be several years before the state legislature makes it legal. However, that may not be the only option for sports betting proponents. Other states have begun opting to push ballot initiatives to circumvent political roadblocks.

A ballot initiative allows supporters of sports betting to allow the public to vote on legalizing the industry, as opposed to the state’s House and Senate. If they gather a set number of signatures, the topic is added to the ballot of the next election. 

Missouri is one of the states currently pushing a ballot initiative to legalize sports betting. The state’s pro sports teams have backed the effort and appear to have already gathered the signatures needed to get sports betting on the ballot this November.

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Michael Savio

477 Articles

Michael is an avid sports fan and a veteran bettor from Milwaukee. He learned the trade from his grandfather in Las Vegas as a kid and has turned that into a successful career. He cheers for all Wisconsin pro teams along with his Alma Mater Arizona State. He specializes in baseball betting, but has experience in football, basketball, and hockey as well. When he isn’t pouring over stats, he’s spending time with his two young children.

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