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Strong Push to Legalize Sports Betting in Minnesota for 2022

Residents in Minnesota have new hope that sports betting will one day be legalized in their state after numerous failed attempts. Minnesota has introduced several sports betting bills since the fall of PASPA, but none of the efforts made it through as no one could vote on any of the bills as none of them made it to the floor vote.

Bipartisan push coming in 2022 to jump-start the sports betting industry in Minnesota

Lawmakers are once again trying to push the needle to legalize sports betting within the states as they return to the State Capitol in the next session. In a press conference, Minnesota Rep. Zack Stephenson stated that he will lead the charge as he hopes to shift the odds in favor of the sports betting bill he is currently preparing.

Stephenson went on to say,” Minnesotans should be able to engage in safe and legal sports betting right here in Minnesota,” Stephenson said. “Legalizing of sports betting will be the most significant change in Minnesota’s gaming laws in many years.”

Going back to 2018, the Supreme Court rescinded a federal law that would have made sports gambling illegal in most states across the country. However, a total of 32 states have benefited from this as most states saw new record handles, especially during football season.

Sports betting laws have been implemented in the states that border Minnesota, including North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan.

There is some major confusion as there is too much political strain on what the residents are allowed to do. It took lawmakers a while to allow liquor stores to open their doors on Sunday.

Those who oppose sports betting include the sports betting efforts include conservative Republicans who have narrowed their focus on the social impacts gambling will have in their state as they have been able to squander any hope thus far.

Sports betting is on hold due to tribe opposition

The main reason why sports betting has had a difficult time getting legalized across the state is that the tribes continue to oppose the expansion of gambling outside of the reservation. Just like other states, the native tribes of Minnesota refuse to give up their monopolistic hold in the gaming and sports betting industry. Democrats are on the same page as they, too, refuse to go against the gaming compacts that were signed off by the state.

Valerie Guimarães, a co-founder of the Greater Rochester Area Dakota Supporters, stated:

Every tribe is trying to diversify their income,…Whatever tribes can do to try to garner more funds to help their people, I would be fully in support of that as long as they follow the laws and things like that.

Former Republican Senate Majority Leader Paul Gazelka was against legalizing sports betting, but newly elected Jeremy Miller co-sponsored a similar bill in the past.

Stephenson has not drafted or released any content that will a part of the bill; however, he plans to consult with tribal leaders, legislators, stakeholders, and constituents before the 2022 legislative session on January 31 begins, as he believes that he wouldn’t be pitching the idea if he had no opportunity to make the push.

Neighboring states have taken the brick-and-mortar approach, which allows residents to only be able to place wagers on tribal lands with the use of their servers if that is the only opportunity available, as many pushed the inclusion of mobile betting. Stephenson reiterated that taking the most cautious route is the best approach as he is set to introduce the sports betting bill early in the session.

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