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State Lawmaker to Introduce Minnesota Sports Betting Act with Tribal Inclusion

Written by: Mike Lukas
Updated February 3, 2023
8 min read
  • Minnesota Senator Jeremy Miller Plans to Introduce Bill to Legalize Sports Wagering

  • Native Tribes Would Have Option to Partner with MN Pro Sports Team or Horse Track

  • Tax Revenue from Legal Sports Betting in Minnesota Would Be Split Four Ways

Minnesota Sports Betting Act

Minnesota Senator Jeremy Miller Plans to Introduce Bill to Legalize Sports Wagering

Minnesota has yet to legalize sports betting, a complicated endeavor given the state’s 11 native tribes that operate 19 major casinos, that group understandably protective of its gambling interests as the bettors in over 30 other states enjoy that legal activity in person and online.

The legal sports betting issue has been broached in the past by Minnesota legislators but prior bills have failed to pass through those chambers, now Senator Jeremy Miller says his state’s time has come to legalize such a market according to reporter Bill Strande of KARE11 News.

In a recent news release, Sen. Miller called out his fellow lawmakers for allowing state neighbors to surge ahead of Minnesota in terms of legal sports betting, saying:

"It's time to authorize sports betting in Minnesota. As other states move to authorize sports betting, Minnesota is falling behind. We are the only state in the region where it remains fully illegal to bet on sports.”

All true – North and South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin already have legal markets now – but before any bill can pass through state congress, it must gain the seal of approval from an important group in that state: the native tribes.

Native Tribes Would Have Option to Partner with MN Pro Sports Team or Horse Track

There are 11 federally recognized American Indian tribes with reservations throughout Minnesota, and 7 of those are Anishinaabe (Chippewa, Ojibwe) and 4 are Dakota (Sioux).

Sen. Miller calls the Minnesota Sports Betting Act a “fair and responsible proposal” that is “long overdue” and says that it’s “good for the tribes, it's good for the horse racing tracks, it's good for the professional sports teams, and it's good for the folks who would like to bet on sports here.”

According to KARE11, Miller's bill will allow in-person with an option for mobile sports betting at casinos for Minnesota's Native American tribes, plus the tribes would have the option to partner with one of Minnesota’s pro sports teams or horse track to conduct mobile sports betting.

The news release stated that the tribes would be able to “utilize the primary mobile license, the partnership mobile license, or both," an arguably fair arrangement, though a representative of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA) refused to comment about it.

Previously, the MIGA has stated that they support the state’s efforts to authorize sports betting at tribal properties and online because the “tribes are best positioned to provide this new offering to the state’s consumers.”

The tax revenue from such a market would be reinvested in the state.

In his press release, Sen. Miller breaks down how the money made from legalized sports gambling would be divided:

  • 25% for tax relief for charities
  •  25% for mental health and problem gambling support
  • 25% for major sporting events
  •  25% for grants to support youth sports throughout the state

There is some pushback from lawmakers like Republican Representative Greg Davids who, according to KARE11 said that “gambling disproportionately hurts low-income families” and that Minnesota already has “plenty of gaming now.”

But Rep. Zack Stephenson disagrees, telling the news outlet:

"Minnesotans deserve the opportunity to safely and legally wager on sports, just as the residents of over 30 other states are able to do. I am hopeful that 2023 is the year we get the job done."

Be sure to keep checking back for all the latest news and updates on this unfolding story.

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Mike Lukas

1204 Articles

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]

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