With an increasing number of states legalizing sports betting, several senior lawmakers in Minnesota have noted that it would be a smart move for the state legislators to pass a sports betting bill by the end of 2022.
Following the landmark decision of the US Supreme Court to lift the federal ban on sports betting services in 2018, states were allowed to decide for themselves whether to bring amendments to their legislation to make the new form of gambling legal. Since then, the proposal for expansion of the local gambling industry has faced moral opposition at the capitol. The Native American tribes in Minnesota have also been reluctant to get involved.
However, things seem to be changing.
According to State Representative Pat Garofalo, who has been one of the first supporters of the new form of gambling, it was high time for Minnesota legislators to consider the addition of sports betting to the legal gambling market in the state.
Representative Zach Stephenson, who has so far gotten in contact with the 11 local Indian tribes, pro sports teams, large companies and the University of Minnesota in an attempt to win their support for a new gambling bill, has noted that the potential legalization of sports betting services would be the biggest change in Minnesota’s gambling legislation since the 1980s. According to him, local residents deserve to get the opportunity to bet on sports events, especially considering the fact they are currently able to do so in all neighboring states.
An Increasing Number of US States Have Legalized Sports Betting Since 2018
For the time being, 33 US states have authorized sports betting, while a year ago only 19 of them allowed betting on sports. As mentioned above, Minnesota is currently surrounded by states that feature retail sportsbook services or online sports betting options.
Both North Dakota and South Dakota rolled out legal sports betting services last year. Iowan residents have been able to bet on sports at casino-based sportsbooks or online since 2019. The state of Wisconsin, on the other hand, will soon see St. Croix Chippewa casinos join the casinos run by the Oneida Nation in opening sportsbooks as they managed to reach the necessary deals with Governor Tony Evers in 2021.
So, sports betting supporters believe that it is a matter of “when” rather than “if” when it comes to the official legalization of the new form of gambling.
According to Representative Stephenson, the details regarding the change are currently being negotiated. He further noted that a proposal regarding both retail sportsbooks and online sports betting services is currently gathering support.
Another supporter of a sports betting bill passing by the end of 2021, Jeremy Miller, who is the Minnesota Senate Majority Leader, said that the proponents of the new form of gambling continue to encourage local stakeholders to work together toward a proposal that could get enough backup in order to pass the legislature and get the Governor’s approval.
As reported by a local media, the executive director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, Andy Platto, explained that the tribal governments had taken into account the various ways sports betting had been implemented across the country, as well as its impact on tribal communities. He further noted that they were ready to share their expertise with Minnesotan lawmakers considering the future of the new form of gambling in the state.