Senator Bigham Introduces Legislation Establishing Legal Sports Betting in Minnesota

Minnesota would become the latest state to establish legal sports betting thanks to bipartisan legislation introduced by Senator Karla Bigham (DFL-Cottage Grove) Thursday. The bill, SF 410, would establish a Sports Wagering Commission and other necessary frameworks to give Minnesotans the opportunity to make sports wagers safely and legally within the state.

“Thousands of Minnesotans currently engage in legal sports betting across the border in Iowa, and many others make bets with unregulated and potentially risky bookmakers. Now is the time for the state to step up and put the legal guardrails in place that allow responsible adults to do this safely and legally,” said Senator Bigham. “As more than two dozen states have already introduced and passed laws establishing legal sports betting, Minnesotans should not be left out in the cold in something they want to do safely and responsibly.” 

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 books at professional stadiums would not be allowed.

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. Currently, 25 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have allowed some form of sports betting, while several other states are currently considering legislation to establish it.

Senator Karla Bigham
Karla Bigham represents District 54 in the southeast Twin Cities metro, including parts of Dakota and Washington counties.

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