The next stop for the bill — and it’s a long-awaited stop — is the House floor, though no action is yet scheduled.
A Minnesota sports betting bill passes through the House Ways and Means Committee. The bill, which would legalize mobile and retail sports wagering, can now move to the House floor.
— Bennett Conlin (@BennettConlin) April 28, 2022
The bill introduced by Rep. Zack Stephenson would allow both online and retail sports betting in Minnesota. The state’s 11 tribes would control sports betting, as casinos owned by the tribes would be allowed to offer mobile betting across the state.
Stephenson referred to his bill as “self sufficient” on Thursday morning, saying it pays for necessary regulation through the tax revenue generated. His proposal would tax net revenue at 10%, with half of the revenue after accounting for regulatory costs going to problem and responsible gambling initiatives. Stephenson often stresses that Minnesota isn’t in dire need of increased tax revenue, but he wants to legalize sports wagering to reduce the black market and fund problem gaming initiatives for those in need.
“I take it really seriously, and the advocates who work in problem gaming can tell you that we’ve incorporated every suggestion that they’ve ever made into the bill,” Stephenson said.
The bill calls for other sports betting tax revenue to fund youth sports programs in communities experiencing high levels of juvenile crime.
The bill still needs to make its way through the House before reaching the Senate, and the state’s legislative session ends on May 23. That leaves just a few weeks for the bill’s chances of becoming law, and there could be some holdups in the Minnesota Senate.
The Senate has a competing bill, SB 574, that would allow the state’s tribes and the state’s racetracks to offer sports betting. The Senate debate, if the bill passes through the House, will likely come down to who has control over the new industry: Should it be only the state’s tribes, or the racetracks as well?