ST. PAUL, Minn. — In response to renewed discussion of legislation to legalize online sports betting, Senator John Marty (DFL – Roseville) raised significant concerns about the current proposal. Senator Marty chairs the Senate Finance Committee, which has yet to act on the bill and would be its final committee before reaching the Senate floor.
Senator Marty released the following statement:
“There has been significant debate over who should profit from sports betting. However, there has been far too little debate about the human and societal costs that would result from the largest expansion of gambling in Minnesota history.
Gambling poses a serious public health problem, and has the highest rate of attempted suicide of any type of addiction. Any sports betting law should include a heavy focus on preventing problem gambling and protecting minors, including young athletes. The legislation needs to acknowledge the devastating economic, social, and mental health impacts – including suicide risks – on many bettors and their families, as well as the impact on the integrity of sports and the risks to athletes.
Legislation that will increase addiction and mental health problems will have a huge impact on families, the economy and the state budget. In its current form, the bill is not ready to pass out of the Senate Finance Committee. I will work to amend the bill to better protect the people of Minnesota.”