Minnesota lawmakers present sports betting legislation

A group of lawmakers led by Zack Stephenson announced the house version of bill to legalise betting on sports in the state.

US.- A group of House representatives in Minnesota has presented legislation that would allow betting on college and professional sporting events via tribal casinos and mobile apps. Representative Zack Stephenson, the bill’s author, said he will hold a Tuesday hearing in the House Commerce committee, which he chairs.

The bill would allow wagers at tribal brick-and-mortar casinos and on mobile apps, which tribes could develop with commercial operators. It would not allow sportsbooks at Minnesota racetracks or in stadiums.

Four House members, two Democrats and two Republicans, participated in a news conference about the bill, which follows several attempts to legalise sports betting in Minnesota.

Stephenson said: “It’s been a long road to get to this point and there’s a long road in front of us, but we’ve got a lot of momentum. We’ve got a lot of support across the state and I can comfortably say that the stakeholders I’ve talked to are interested in seeing this happen and happen this year, and we’ve also got bipartisan support.”

The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association said it would be open to working on legislation this session. It said: “The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association and its 10 member tribal nations support state efforts to authorize sports wagering both at tribal gaming properties and through online/mobile platforms and believe tribes are best positioned to offer this new market to the state’s consumers.”

The bill proposes a 10 per cent tax rate for mobile bets made off tribal land. Stephenson and state representative Pat Garofalo said estimated tax revenue would be $20m. Of the revenues collected by the state, 40 per cent would go toward addressing problem gambling, 40 per cent to youth sports with an emphasis on areas with high juvenile crime, and 20 per cent to regulatory efforts and ensuring athletic integrity.

See also: Minnesota lawmakers make another push to legalise sports betting

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