Minnesota Sports Betting

History Behind Proposed Sports Betting Bill in Minnesota

Sports betting became legal in the United States in 2018. From 1992 until the summer of 2018, sports betting was illegal because of the restrictions within the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. PASPA was overturned in a 6-3 decision by the Supreme Court. When this decision was made, individual states were allowed to legalize sports betting.

Minnesota has still not legalized sports betting, but industry experts believe that 2021 could be the year for legalization within the state. State Senator Karla Bigham announced on January 14th that she would be unveiling a sports betting bill. Bigham hasn’t released the legislative details, but she is expected to propose the bill in January or February of 2021.

Bigham’s future bill will not be the first attempt to legalize sports betting in the state of Minnesota. Senator Roger Chamberlain introduced a sports betting bill in 2019 and 2020, but both bills stalled. Legislators in the state government support sports betting. Fellow senators have already reached out to Bigham to give their support for her bill. However, Native American tribes in the state oppose sports betting. The native tribes run the state’s only casinos, so they have created quite the disruption for legalized sports betting.

What Sports Betting Bill in Minnesota Says

Karla Bigham hasn’t released her potential 2021 sports betting bill in the Minnesota Senate. Bigham will be at the forefront of this year’s attempt, but Senator Roger Chamberlain tried to bring sports betting to the state last year. Bigham’s bill is expected to look similar to Chamberlain’s bill, with a few exceptions.

Roger Chamberlain’s 2020 sports betting bill passed through the Senate’s initial legalization phase, but it stalled in the Government Finance and Policy and Elections Committee. Chamberlain’s bill called for online and retail sports betting. Most likely, Bigham’s bill will do the same. Chamberlain also wanted a low tax rate for sports betting operators to entice them to come to the state. Bigham is expected to follow this precedent that Chamberlain established last year.

Bigham is likely to tax sports betting operators 10% of their gross adjusted gaming revenue. For a sportsbook to apply to the state, they will have to pay upwards of $135,000. There will also be an annual fee between $50,000 and $100,000 for all skins in the state.

These figures are pretty hefty, but the 10% tax rate would be considerably low compared to other legal sports betting states. Tribal groups opposed Chamberlain’s bill, so Bigham will not have an easy path to legalization for her bill in 2021.

What’s Holding Sports Betting Bill Back in Minnesota

The only legalized casino gaming in the state of Minnesota is run by tribal nations. Retail sportsbooks throughout the nation are usually operated in casinos, so the tribal nations are major stakeholders in this discussion. Tribal compacts also give them a say in the sports betting discussion. Chamberlain’s 2020 bill failed because of tribal disapproval.

11 tribes operate 19 casinos in Minnesota. Every tribe took a stand against sports betting in 2020. The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association Executive Director, John McCarthy made a statement on behalf of all the tribes. He told state legislators that the tribes feared that sports betting would destroy the state’s small gaming economy.

The state and sportsbook operators would end up prospering more than the tribal nations and they wanted to prevent this from happening. The tribes have said that small market gaming states don’t drastically benefit from sports betting. Minnesota wouldn’t be a large sports betting state initially, but the state’s low tax rate could rapidly grow the sports betting economy.

The tribal nation’s stance could change in 2021. The COVID pandemic destroyed individual economies throughout the nation. Casinos all over the United States were closed and then forced to operate at reduced capacity. The Minnesota Congress is hoping that this may sway the tribal nations to enact sports betting and work with the government to draft a bill that benefits all parties involved.

Sports Teams to Bet on in Minnesota

Minnesota has a great professional sports market. Bettors will have plenty of choices if they want to bet hometown teams. There are six professional sports teams across six different leagues. The Minnesota Vikings compete in the NFC North Division of the NFL. The team has never won a Super Bowl and hasn’t won an NFC Championship since 1976.

Two basketball teams play in the state. The Minnesota Timberwolves compete in the NBA, and the Minnesota Lynx play in the WNBA. The Timberwolves have never won more than a division title. The Lynx have won six conference titles and four WNBA Championships since 2011.

The Minnesota Wild are members of the NHL. The team was founded in 2000 and has won a single division title in 2007-08. The Minnesota FC United play in the MLS. The team has only been operating since 2015.

The Minnesota Twins are the sole MLB franchise in the state. The Twins play in the American League Central Division. The Twins have won three World Series and six AL Pennants. Minnesota also has a couple of DI colleges in the state. The main school is the University of Minnesota, but it’s unclear whether people within the state will be able to wager college athletics at this point in time.

Minnesota Sports Betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in Minnesota?

Sports betting isn’t legal in Minnesota just yet. There has been an effort made to legalize sports betting in 2019 and 2020. It’s expected that another bill will be proposed in 2021. Industry experts think sports betting has a great chance of passing in 2021, but there is still a lot of uncertainty surrounding the form of gambling.

What’s holding back sports betting in Minnesota?

The tribal nations in the state oppose sports betting. Eleven tribes operate 19 casinos in the state. These are the only casinos that operate in Minnesota. This means that the tribes will play a major role in the legalization of sports betting. The tribes have stated that they don’t believe sports betting will yield enough money to benefit their casinos.

Does Minnesota sports betting have a chance to be legalized in 2021?

Yes, the COVID pandemic could help accelerate the legalization process. Sports betting will financially benefit the tribes in a difficult time for the nation. Therefore, the tribes may try to get a sports betting deal done with the Minnesota legislature.

What will the legal sports betting age be in Minnesota?

The legal age to place a sports bet will be 21.

Who is proposing the 2021 sports betting bill?

Minnesota Senator Karla Bigham will be proposing the 2021 sports betting bill.