Minnesota State Senator Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) is making a second attempt to legalize sports betting in the state. On February 12, he will introduce the Minnesota Sports Betting Act 2.0, a revised version of a previous bill that failed to gain traction in the 2023 legislative session.
The proposed bill includes licensing opportunities for the state’s 11 tribal nations to offer retail and mobile sports betting. It also allows license holders to operate retail betting at horse racing tracks or professional sports stadiums in Minnesota. Furthermore, sports betting revenue would be taxed at a 15% rate, with the proceeds aimed at providing charitable gaming tax relief to local charities, boosting horse racing, and attracting major sporting events.
Miller emphasized that the goal of the proposal is to bring together legislators from both parties to work towards a bipartisan solution to legalize sports betting in Minnesota. He stated that the bill incorporates ideas from his original Minnesota Sports Betting Act and provisions from other sports betting bills that were introduced last session.
However, the revised bill is already facing opposition. Canterbury Park, a horse racing track, expressed disappointment with the proposal as it does not allow racetracks to hold a sports betting license. A spokesperson for Canterbury stated that they believe both tracks and tribes should have full sports betting licenses and that the market is mature enough for all stakeholders to succeed.
Miller acknowledged that a bill giving racetracks licensing opportunities does not currently have enough votes to pass. This indicates that the revised bill may face challenges as it moves through the legislative process.
If the bill is successful, Minnesota would join the ranks of 38 states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, D.C., that have already legalized sports betting. As of now, Minnesota remains the only state in the region without a legal sports betting option. The legislative session will last for 120 days, offering a limited window of time for lawmakers to deliberate and pass the proposed sports betting legislation.