Minnesota House Passes Amended Sports Betting Bill

Written By Pat Evans on May 12, 2022
Minnesota sports betting

Minnesota sports betting legislation is past one chamber, but its path forward is murky at best.

The House advanced HF 778, 70-57, on Thursday evening. The MN sports betting legislation ventured through five House committees and saw several minor adjustments throughout its journey.

While the bill heads to the Senate, its chances to reach the finish line by the May 23 deadline do not look promising.

Minnesota House amendments to bill

The House adopted multiple amendments on the floor, including a variety of bills aimed at responsible gaming.

One amendment included a three-hour delay between a mobile deposit and a wager. Another amendment bans mobile sports betting app push notifications.

An amendment requiring in-person registration for online sports betting was rejected.

Senate support not there for tribal exclusivity

HF 778 grants the 11 federally recognized tribes in Minnesota sports betting exclusivity. The deal would provide the tribes each with an online skin and allows for retail sports betting at their casinos.

A separate Senate proposal includes Minnesota professional sports teams and race tracks. That bill has not moved in the chamber as Senate Republicans are largely against sports betting.

Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller recently told local media “there’s not support in the Senate to do sports betting for tribal casinos only.”

Tribal support key for MN sports betting

Sources tell LSR that expanding sports betting to the teams and tracks is a likely dealbreaker for the tribes.

“I think that the tribes want sports betting, but not at the cost of having other entities involved,” an industry source told LSR earlier this month.

The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association is on board with the House plan, a change from previous Minnesota sports betting legalization efforts. The tribes have effectively killed previous legislation.

Minnesota public wants sports betting

While legislators work to hash out their differences, their constituents want sports betting.

A KTSP/SurveyUSA poll found 64% of respondents want sports betting, while just 17% say they oppose the issue.

The survey did find, however, that Minnesotans largely support the broader Senate proposal.

Time running out in Minnesota

With the chambers seemingly far apart on their plans, it looks like sports betting might need to wait in Minnesota.

The session ends May 23 and Gov. Tim Walz said there are no plans for a special session this year.

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Pat Evans

Pat Evans is a Grand Rapids, Michigan-based reporter covering sports business. Evans previously worked at Front Office Sports and the Grand Rapids Business Journal. He has authored two books: Grand Rapids Beer and Nevada Beer.

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