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Minnesota Sports Betting Gains New Life in Final Days of Legislative Session

Written by: Michael Savio
Published May 14, 2024
7 min read

Legal sports betting was all but dead in Minnesota’s 2024 legislative session, but a recent change has given proponents renewed hope.

Minnesota Rep. Zach Stephenson has taken the language from his sports betting bill HF2000 and put it into his HF5274 bill. The latter is a bill that would prohibit historical horse racing (HHR) games, which has been seen as a requirement to legalize sports betting.

Combining sports betting with a bill banning HHR games is an important step, but the move also circumvents another roadblock in the Senate Finance Committee. Committee chair John Marty has been a vocal opponent of sports betting, holding bills hostage while making massive changes to erode any support proposals have had.

While this move has given new hope to an effort thought to have already failed, time will be a significant constraint. We are entering the final week of the state’s 2024 legislative session, meaning things will need to move quickly and efficiently for HF5274 to be passed.

Minnesota Sports Betting Gains New Life in Final Days of Legislative Session

What HF5274 Would Do

The updated sports betting bill would set up an extensive sports betting market if passed. A total of 11 operating licenses would be available for sportsbooks. Those licenses would be reserved for the following tribes:

  • Bois Forte Band of Chippewa

  • Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa

  • Grand Portage Band of Chippewa

  • Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe

  • Lower Sioux Indian Community

  • Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

  • Prairie Island Indian Community

  • Red Lake Nation

  • Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community

  • Upper Sioux Community

  • White Earth Nation

The bill would require all bettors in the state to be at least 21. Bettors would not be able to wager on eSports, horse racing, or youth sports on sportsbooks. Horse betting would remain legal but would not be available from the state’s new sportsbooks.

If passed, all sports betting operators would be taxed at 20%.

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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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