New Minnesota Sports Betting Legislation Empowers Tribes
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MN Rep. Zack Stephenson’s New Sports Betting Bill Empowers Indigenous Tribes
Looks like Minnesota’s latest sports betting bill – HF778 – is starting to get legs in the State House after getting the green light Tuesday from the House Commerce Finance and Policy Committee, with the next stage of legislation being the State Government Finance and Elections Committee.
The bill’s lead sponsor, State Representative Zack Stephenson, chairs the Commerce Committee and is certain that a legal sports betting market in Minnesota is inevitable as long as it fully includes the native tribes of the State who currently manage the casino there.
Stephenson told the press:
As someone who wouldn’t introduce legislation if we thought there was no path to tribal support, I feel very comfortable standing before you today with the law Project.
According to the legislation, the native tribes in the state would retain revenue from all in-person sports bets placed in their casinos, but they would have to share part of the online market that they would launch in conjunction with outside operators.
The reality that Minnesota faces, and which Stephenson fully acknowledges and hopes his bill will address, is that residents of the state already engage in sports betting, they just have to go elsewhere for the do, telling the media:
“This bill aims to create a legal market that will replace this black market and, in doing so, provide consumer protection, ensure the integrity of gaming, and limit money laundering and other illegal activities.”
Legalizing this existing market could mean that millions of dollars in tax revenue would be redirected to the state.
Stephenson Projects Minnesota could generate $20 million in revenue
Since the United States Supreme Court struck down PASPA in 2018, every state, including Minnesota, has had the option of creating its own legal sports betting market, and industry experts have predicted that the state of Gopher could generate between 30 and 100 million dollars per year.
Rep. Stephenson is more cautious with his predictions and told the press that he thinks the Minnesota sports betting market will be more in the $20 million revenue range, still a chance to bring that money back to the table. state and tax it accordingly.
Now HF778 will face the House State Government Finance and Elections Committee, with that hearing scheduled for March 15, a bill that many lawmakers like Rep. Pat Garofalo see as a solution. bipartisan and tribal to this problem, saying:
“I am here today to represent myself and many members of the Republican and Democratic parties who are here today to say that we want to support regulated safe sports gambling in Minnesota. Let’s move Minnesota forward.
Much of the tax revenue generated by this new market has already been pledged to good causes.
Sports betting tax revenue targeted at youth addiction to sports and gaming
Forty percent of tax revenue is already earmarked to fund youth sports and youth programs, with another forty percent going to combat gambling addiction, and Stephenson is confident that will make voters happy, saying :
“What we’ve done is develop a Minnesota-specific model that works with the dynamics that we have here in Minnesota and is designed for Minnesotans.”
The road to a legal sports betting market in Minnesota holds even more hearings, then a full House and Senate vote plus the governor’s signature, but Stephenson is optimistic his fellow lawmakers will soon vote to join the neighbors – Illinois, Iowa and Michigan – which have already launched.