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Amendment to Minnesota Sports Betting Bill Would Raise Tax Rate and Prohibit In-Game Bets

Senator Matt Klein Senator Matt Klein’s sports betting bill, SF 1949 passed out of the Senate Taxes Committee this Thursday. There were essential changes to the gambling legislation that would have a major impact on the annual projected tax revenue for the state of Minnesota as well as the betting options available to local punters.

As reported by CasinoGamesPro, Senator Klein, who authored last year’s sports betting bill, said that sports betting legalization was a “priority of the legislature and of the people of Minnesota.”

This week, he proposed amendments that would raise the sports betting tax from 10% to 20% to ease the expected budgetary shortfalls. He explained that the suggestion was grounded on another amendment prohibiting in-game wagering, a popular type of gambling enabling punters to place bets on sports events while they are still underway.

The limitations on live sports bets were meant to reduce gambling harm and protect compulsive gamblers from wagering too much. Supporters claim that the prohibition served as a safeguard. As the senator noted, bettors should have all their wagers “lined up before the whistle blows and you are done for that game.” Sports betting companies and tribal operators, on the other hand, opposed this amendment that would substantially limit the roster of products and services they would be able to offer to their customers.

Unlike the Democrat-Farmer-Labor lawmakers, who call for tribal exclusivity over sports betting, Republican legislators demanded that race tracks be included in the sports betting industry. Republicans have voiced their objections to the proposed tax hike, with Senator Jeremy Miller at the forefront. He said that more needed to be done for Minnesota’s charities. He added that horse racing tracks should benefit from more funding and more flexibility to support their development and well-being.

Gambling Revenue Projections Decrease from $40 Million to $18 Million Following Amendments

Gambling Revenue Projections Decrease from $40 Million to $18 Million Along with the aforementioned amendments, lawmakers discussed introducing self-imposed limits, enabling bettors to set limitations on the amount of money spent on sports betting in a single day.

According to Senator Klein, the initially proposed 10% tax rate would not create enough tax revenue. Even with an increased tax rate to 20%, revenue projections have decreased from an estimated $40 Million to $18 Million per year, following the introduced amendments.

The adjustments to the legislation also changed the revenue allocation, including funds to the state’s general fund, horseracing tracks, problem gambling programs, as well as tax relief for charity gambling organizations and youth sports.

The general expectation is that Minnesota would join the list of states that authorize sports betting. However, it would establish a precedent as the only state that would prohibit in-game wagers. A lot of work still needs to be accomplished before bills are introduced to the House and Senate floors. Governor Tim Walz confirmed that if a sports betting bill reached his desk, he would sign it.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.