The Minnesota House of Representatives has passed legislation that would legalize in-person and mobile sports betting in the state.
Native American tribes will have complete control over both the retail and mobile sports betting markets
Bill HF778, authored by Democratic Rep. Zack Stephenson, of Coon Rapids, will hand control of sports gambling in Minnesota over to the state’s Native American tribes. At present, the tribes run the state’s 11 casinos.
The bill will see the tribes retain all profits from in-person betting while mobile sports betting will be taxed at 5% of adjusted gross revenue (AGR).
However, despite the bill passing through the House with minimal difficulty, it may come up against some opposition in the Senate. For example, Republican Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, of Winona, has previously said that the bill doesn’t offer any real benefits to other stakeholders aside from the tribal groups.
Rep. Pat Garofalo, a staunch supporter of legalized sports betting in Minnesota said:
“Today’s vote is an important step forward in bringing legalized sports betting to Minnesota. However, it is clear that the current version of the bill does not have the support needed to pass in the Senate. Now is the time to bring stakeholders together to work on legislation that can pass with broad, bipartisan support in both legislative chambers. Through compromise and working together, we can put a bill on the Governor’s desk that satisfies the concerns of stakeholders and lawmakers.”
According to the bill, there would be two master sports betting licenses that can only be held by groups comprising local tribes. Holders of these master licenses may then partner with mobile sports betting operators. However, mobile operators must also be companies owned by Native American tribes. The northern license holder can partner with as many as seven tribes while the southern license holder can partner with four. If approved this means that there could be as many as 11 separate sports betting apps live in the state.