Legislation introduced to establish legal sports betting in Minnesota

A press conference was held this week about recently introduced, bipartisan legislation to establish legal sports betting in Minnesota, which has been already approved in 25 states and Washington D.C., and Puerto Rico.

The legislation would establish a Sports Wagering Commission and guardrails to let Minnesotans make wagers on sports safely and legally within the state. The Sports Wagering Commission would be composed of 9 members: The Commissioner of Public Safety, the Chair of the Racing Commission, five members appointed by the governor and approved by the Senate, and two members appointed by the governor following the advice of the Indian Affairs Council. The bill allows onsite wagering at both casinos and racetracks, and after one year it allows remote or mobile sports wagering through casinos, as long as people have a registered account with the casino.

Sports betting would have two tax rates: 6% for onsite betting, and 8% for mobile betting. Approximately 0.5% of tax revenue will be appropriated for “compulsive gambling assistance,” and the rest of the tax revenue will flow into the general account. Many Minnesotans already engage in sports betting, either legally in neighboring states like Iowa, or in off-the-books bets. This legislation would simply establish a legal framework for activities that already occur and allow the state to regulate and tax it.