With the 2024 Minnesota legislative session scheduled to begin on February 12, 2024, the debate over legalizing sports wagering intensifies. Online and land-based betting will surely draw legislators’ attention this year as well.
Fans of sports wagering might be able to legally bet on their favorite teams at a Minnesota business, but there is still a copious amount of work outstanding before this could happen.
Although the legislative attempts to authorize sports gambling in 2023 were unsuccessful, this could change over the current year. As Fox 9 reported, Senator Matthew David Klein and Senator John Marty were of opposing views when it comes to legalizing sports betting in the state.
Senator Klein, who authored last year’s betting bill, said that he would try to exert influence regarding the sector’s legalization and that it was a “priority of the legislature and of the people of Minnesota”. Senator Marty, on the other hand, was ill-disposed to any gambling expansion. He has repeatedly pointed out some grave problems, such as the potential rise in addiction and suicide rates, as well as corrupting sports as major reasons for opposition.
However, as it appears, there is room for maneuver. Senator Marty said that with the right protections in place, he was open to the legalization of the sector. According to him, sports betting should be subjected to particular restrictions such as the opportunity to wager on college leagues. Furthermore, he said that there should be loss limits, enabling bettors to predetermine the amount of money they could afford to lose over a particular period.
Simultaneously, Republicans have introduced their own bill that would authorize gambling at online and land-based tribal venues and horse tracks. Senator John R. Jasinski, challenged the restrictions suggested by Senator Marty, stating that the market needed to be competitive and in line with the current tendencies. Senator Jasinski further noted that the state was already missing revenue generated from gambling taxes.
Problem Gambling Experts Say Minnesota Is Not Ready to Launch Sports Betting
As problem gambling experts shared, the legalization of sports betting would give rise to major problems in the state that are typically associated with areas that have authorized gambling. According to them, the state of Minnesota was not prepared to tackle them. However, if they could be minimized, there might be certain benefits.
Susan Sheridan Tucker, Executive Director of the Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling stated some of the reasons why the state was not ready to launch sports betting. With only 19 gambling addiction counselors in Minnesota, it would be hard to deal with the needs of potential problem gamblers.
According to studies, anywhere from 1% to 5% of the adult population can have a predisposition to developing problem gambling, which in Minnesota equates to roughly 450,000 potential addicts, at the very least.