The Push for Legalized Sports Betting in Minnesota: Examining the Latest Legislative Proposal

Sports Betting Bill in Minnesota Gains Tribal Nations’ Support

A sports betting bill introduced in the Minnesota Legislature has garnered strong support from state tribal nations, which significantly increases its chances of being passed into law, according to the bill’s sponsor.

Legalizing Wagers at Casinos and on Mobile Phones

The proposed bill, known as HF778, aims to legalize both online and brick-and-mortar sports betting in Minnesota. If passed, residents aged 18 and above would be able to place wagers on sports events. The legislation also includes provisions for the creation of the Minnesota Sports Wagering Commission, which would be responsible for regulating and overseeing sports betting activities.

Allocation of Revenue for Youth Activities and Anti-Gambling Programs

A notable aspect of the bill is that 40% of the generated revenue would be allocated for youth activities, with a specific focus on youth sports. This provision aims to bolster support for sports among young individuals in areas of the state that are dealing with higher levels of juvenile crime. The remaining funds would be used to combat gambling addiction and ensure consumer protections, preventing any potential influence of betting on the outcomes of sporting events.

Tribal Support and Gaming Compacts

During a recent press conference, Rep. Zack Stephenson, a Democrat from Coon Rapids, emphasized that the bill would establish new gaming compacts with tribal nations. As per the proposal, the tribes would be allowed to retain all revenues generated from sports wagers placed at their casinos, while tax revenue from online bets would be shared with the state. This provision has garnered support from tribal leaders, paving the way for broader tribal support for the bill.

Stressing the importance of tribal support, Rep. Stephenson stated, “As someone who would not bring a bill forward if we didn’t think we had a path to tribal support, I feel very comfortable standing before you today with the bill.”

The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA) has also expressed its support for the legalization of sports betting in the state. With their established casinos, tribal nations are in a favorable position to offer this new market to consumers in Minnesota. MIGA has stated its intention to closely monitor the progress of state legislation and collaborate with other stakeholders in this endeavor.

The Legislative Journey

HF778 will kickstart its legislative journey by being reviewed in the Minnesota House’s Commerce Committee. However, before it makes its way to the House floor, the bill must pass through several committees. Additionally, there is a separate bill in the Senate that also seeks to authorize sports betting. Interestingly, this Senate bill includes a provision that would allow wagers to be placed at racetracks.

It is worth noting that all four neighboring states of Minnesota, namely North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Iowa, have already legalized sports betting. However, only Iowa allows online wagers.


The proposed sports betting bill in Minnesota has gained significant momentum with the support of tribal nations, as it paves the way for new gaming compacts and revenue-sharing agreements. If passed into law, this legislation would allow for both online and brick-and-mortar sports betting, contributing a portion of the revenue to youth sports activities, anti-gambling programs, and consumer protections. The bill will now undergo a thorough review process in multiple committees before potentially reaching the House floor. The inclusion of tribal support and the existing presence of legalized sports betting in neighboring states highlight the growing interest in bringing this form of gambling to Minnesota.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will I be able to place sports bets on my mobile phone if this bill becomes law?

Yes, if the bill is passed, it will authorize both online and mobile sports betting in Minnesota. This means that you would be able to place sports bets conveniently from your mobile phone.

2. How will the revenue from sports betting be used?

The proposed legislation stipulates that 40% of the revenue generated from sports betting will be allocated for youth activities, with a focus on youth sports in areas with high levels of juvenile crime. The remaining funds will be utilized for programs that combat gambling addiction and ensure consumer protections.

3. Are there any plans to allow sports betting at racetracks in Minnesota?

While there is a separate bill in the Senate that includes a provision for allowing sports betting at racetracks, it is not included in the current bill being reviewed in the Minnesota House. The scope of racetrack betting will likely be subject to further legislative discussions and considerations.

4. What states border Minnesota and have already legalized sports betting?

The four states that border Minnesota—North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Iowa—have all legalized sports betting. However, it is worth noting that Iowa is the only neighboring state that has also authorized online sports wagers.

5. How does tribal support impact the chances of this bill passing?

Tribal support is crucial in the legislative process, especially when it comes to initiatives related to gaming and gambling. The backing of tribal nations significantly increases the likelihood of the bill’s success, as it demonstrates a collaborative effort to find mutually beneficial solutions and highlights the capacity for revenue-sharing between tribes and the state.

Doug I. Jones

Doug I. Jones

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