A new piece of legislation is seeking to meet opposition from two racetracks in the state of Minnesota, which are set to be excluded from offering sports betting services.
The sports betting bill, which has recently been proposed to the state Senate, seeks to grant Minnesota Native American tribes exclusive rights for the provision of both brick-and-mortar and online sports betting services.
The proposed measure, which was officially introduced to the state Legislature by Representative Zach Stephenson, is set to grant the eleven Indian tribes in Minnesota the right to offer sports betting services. The bill seeks to allow local residents to place in-person wagers at their tribal casinos or online, via a mobile sports betting application. However, the piece of legislation would not allow the two racetracks and professional sports teams to participate in the provision of sports betting services.
Online sports betting operators, including DraftKings, FanDuel, Caesars Entertainment, BetMGM, etc., are set to get a chunk of the sports betting market in Minnesota in case they join forces with one of the Native American tribes, each of which will be allowed to partner with one commercial sportsbook only.
The proposed tax rate on sports betting revenue sought by the newest sports betting bill filed in the local Legislature would be 10%. According to experts, if authorized, the new form of gambling could generate between $10 million and $12 million on an annual basis for the state. The tax revenue is set to be distributed to fund various issues – 40% will be redirected as funding to gambling addiction programs, another 40% will be used as funding for a variety of youth programs, especially in communities with higher youth crime rates, and the remaining 20% will be allocated for regulation of the sector and customer protection.
Professional Sports Teams and Native American Tribes Association Support the New Bill
At the time he presented the bill to his fellow lawmakers, the sponsor of the piece of legislation outlined that the main objective of the measure is not raising money for the state but rather making legal accessing a market that currently remains shut for Minnesota residents, making the state more competitive to its neighboring states of Wisconsin and Iowa.
As previously reported by CasinoGamesPro, the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA) has been historically an opposition to all forms of gambling expansion in the state. This time, however, the Association backed the proposed bill in a letter to the measure’s sponsor.
Andi Platto, the executive director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, wrote that the proposed piece of legislation would not only support the local Native American tribes but would also guarantee a well-regulated and accessible market for local punters, as well as a competitive market for professional sports teams and market partners.
Professional sports teams have also shared they would back the measure, with a number of team officials issuing a joint statement to say how much they value their tribal partnerships and the chance to collaborate with the tribes’ Association.