The bill has been approved by the Minnesota House Tax Committee.
US.- The Minnesota House Tax Committee has voted 13-5 to advance a sports betting bill that would legalise online and retail sports betting at tribal casinos. HF 778 had already been approved by the House Judiciary, Finance and Civil Law Committee and the Commerce, Finance and Public Policy and State Government Finance Committees. It now heads to the Ways and Means Committee.
If the bill introduced by Rep. Zack Stephenson passes through that fifth committee, it can be discussed on the House floor. If it’s passed by the house, the State Senate will also then need to approve an identical form of the bill. Finally, Governor Tim Walz would also have to sign off.
If approved, the bill would allow in-person sports betting at tribal casinos and create up to two 20-year master online sports betting licences to organisations comprising two or more Minnesota Indian Tribes. The bill sets the minimum age for participation at 21.
The initiative proposes a 10 per cent tax rate for mobile bets made off tribal land. Stephenson and state representative Pat Garofalo have estimated tax revenue at $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.
Stephenson estimates that about $2bn is wagered illegally in the state each year, and he believes a regulated market would be better for residents.
Andy Platto, the executive director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association has reiterated tribes’ support for Stephenson’s bill. However, Sam Krueger, executive director of the Electronic Gaming Group, opposes the amount of influence the tribes have on the bill and Rep. Peggy Scott has expressed concerns that the bill does not list the extent of criminal and civil penalties for tribes or individuals who break sports betting regulations.