A Minnesota lawmaker revealed that he will lead another effort to legalize sports betting during the state’s next legislative session.
Representative Zack Stephenson, who is the Chair of the House Commerce Committee, shared that the residents of Minnesota should be given the opportunity to engage in safe and legal sports betting services just like people in other US states. He further noted that he wants to start a conversation on a piece of legislation that is yet to be created.
According to Representative Stephenson, the legalization of sports betting would be the most important change to the gaming laws in the state in many years. The House Commence Committee’s Chair also shared that the issue was a complex one, considering the variety of options local legislators could structure sports betting into.
Previous attempts to bring legal sports betting to the state have faced some opposition from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA), but the organization may change its stance on the matter.
Local Indian tribes have long feared that the implementation of legal sports betting services on mobile devices would have a devastating impact and would put casinos out of business. This could now change. Andy Platto, the Association’s executive director, explained that the MIGA’s members had been examining the various ways sports betting had been implemented in other US states along with the impact the new form of gambling had on tribal communities. Mr. Plato said that Indian tribes are ready to share their expertise in gambling with Minnesotan lawmakers when it comes to the future of sports betting in the state.
Mobile Sports Betting Could Be a Challenging Topic in Minnesota
The truth is that any sports betting legislation will face some struggles to officially become part of the legal gambling sector in the state and Minnesotans are allowed to place bets on sports events.
The organization representing Native American tribes has not been the only opponent of the legalization of sports betting in Minnesota. In the past, the state Senate has also been reluctant to give the nod to sports betting services. However, Senator Roger Chamberlain, who has previously introduced sports betting bill, has revealed some plans to introduce another bill during the next legislative session of the state. He also confirmed there were some signals that Indian tribes in Minnesota will change their position on the matter.
According to Senator Chamberlain, sports mobile betting must be part of any gambling market expansion. He noted that local legislators should not exclude mobile options if they want to make the new form of gambling attractive to consumers, especially at times when technology has been going deeper in the sector.
Representative Zack Stephenson revealed that he backed an initial approach that would keep sports betting services to brick-and-mortar locations, and not online. According to him, going online on mobile devices could be extremely challenging for the sports services in the state. He explained that the House Commence Committee, which he currently chairs, would take the next 90 days to study the impact legal sports betting had in other states, have talks with the local Indian tribes and prepare a bill to introduce early in the 2022 legislative session, which is set to start on January 31st, 2022.