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Minnesota Sports Betting Bill Heading to Judiciary Committee

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Minnesota Sports Betting Bill Heading to Judiciary Committee

Minnesota sports betting remains in limbo once again as a bill that would legalize sports betting in the North Star state heads to a judiciary committee, before facing a full House vote.

Last Tuesday, a House Committee on Government Finance and Elections reconvened after a long morning debate. The House Committee advanced HF 788 on a narrow vote of 7-5. This bill, which would state endorse Minnesota sports betting, now heads to a Judiciary Committee hearing, where it will face even heavier opposition.


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Minnesota Sports Betting Bill Facing Opposition Ahead of House Vote

While this new Minnesota sports betting bill is the furthest a bill of its kind has made it through the State of Minnesota. The chances of the bill being passed, as is, are still pretty much a coin toss.

Previous attempts at the legalization of Minnesota sports betting have failed due to support from the state’s eleven tribal casinos. The bill that is currently being proposed to the Minnesota House would, in effect, give the tribes even more control over the Minnesota sports betting market.

The Minnesota sports betting bill that is currently being proposed would create two mobile licenses. This would split the tribes into two separate groups, allowing those groups to partner with American commercial sports betting entities such as DraftKings or FanDuel. This would create what some have called a ‘monopoly’ over the Minnesota sports betting market, but would almost ensure the bill’s approval before the end of the year. For some representatives of Minnesota, it’s a trade-off they are not willing to make.

Republican House representatives have voiced their concerns with the gambling reform bill, which doesn’t include racetracks in the group eligible to apply for the Minnesota sports betting license. Meanwhile, a similar bill pending Senate approval would allow racetracks to apply for licenses, though this bill will likely not have support from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association.

While the current bill should make it through a full House vote after the upcoming Judiciary Committee hearing, the chances of the bill making it through the Republican-controlled Senate are far less likely than what Minnesota sports betting fans are willing to hear in 2022.

At this moment, over half of the states in the U.S. have endorsed some form of legalized sports betting, with a number of states also pending approval from House and Senate votes in 2022.

Will Minnesota Make Sports Betting Legal in 2022?

There is not a simple yes or no answer to this question. The best answer that can currently be given is simply this, maybe.

The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, which represents ten tribal nations, has given its support to the recent bill proposed to legalize Minnesota sports betting. However, the bill faces opposition from Republican representatives who wish to open the market to ‘charitable gaming competitors,’ and racetracks.

Currently, Minnesota sports betting is only made possible through nineteen land-based casinos operated in Minnesota. The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association regulates these casinos, and allows pari-mutuel horse racing bets at tracks and licensed retail locations.

Canadian odds writer, researcher, and contributor for BasketballInsiders. Follow on Twitter @CombatOddsHQ

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