March 22, 2024 3 min read


Amended Minnesota Sports Betting Bill, Out of Committee

Representative Zack Stephenson has upgraded his sports betting bill for Minnesota, adding daily fantasy sports, enabling electronic pull-tabs, and raising the tax rate to 20%

Minnesota Representative Zack Stephenson has updated his sports betting bill, adding daily fantasy sports, giving the green light to electronic pull tabs, and doubling the size of the proposed taxes.

The revamping of the HF 2000 came as the legal sports betting bill started through the house on March 21.

Stephenson has been advocating legal, statewide digital sports betting in the past three years. The A-2 amendment passed with a majority of 8 to 4 and it was followed by the approval of the bill at 8-5

Currently, the sports betting bill is moving toward the tax committee.

Six Years and Counting

The North Star State State does not have a crossover deadline. The state is set to adjourn on May 20

In case sports betting is not made legal this current session, lawmakers will need to wait until next year and keep working at crafting fresh bills as they will not carry over.

This, however, will not come as a surprise to lawmakers who have been struggling to make sports betting legal for the past six years. 

Stephenson originally got a bill through the House in 2022, but it was rejected by the Senate’s vote.

While one of the greatest roadblocks has been the topic of horse racing and deciding if the state’s horse tracks should be featured in any wagering offerings or not, a senate bill that includes horse tracks has already passed through six committees

The bill proposes a tax rate of 20% and it is ready to reach the finance committee.

Charitable Gambling and Pull-tabs

Stephenson’s fresh amendments are expected to build a regulatory structure around the fantasy sports market that is not regulated at the moment. 

While not going into specifics, as the amendment is not yet public, the primary changes will involve pull-tabs and charitable gaming

At the moment, the state collects most tax revenue from charitable gaming, followed by game developers and charities in the third position.

The bill amendment is looking to send up to $40 million to the Allied Charities of Minnesota in the upcoming years.

Disagreements regarding the mechanisms of pull-tab machines exist, with state tribes claiming these machines resemble slots more than ever. In turn, this creates a clash with the tribe’s exclusive rights to offer casino games.

Stephenson believes he can eliminate both issues by boosting the proposed tax amount from 10% to 20%.

The committee also focussed on the issue of the two horse tracks owned by the state with Running Aces’ chief financial officer, Tracie Wilson

Wilson explained the tracks would be “badly damaged by the unfair amendment,” further saying that horse racing would be “eviscerated by this legislation, which picks winners and losers.”

Minnesota Indian Gaming Association’s executive director, Andy Platto, stated the tribe will keep assessing the bill which they fully support, despite some concerns regarding policy changes.

The bill that is now moving through the Senate has seen proposed tax rises to 20% and the elimination of in-game betting. 

The Senate bill also excludes horse tracks and the latest pull-tab deal that was brokered by Stephenson.

Earlier in the week, Metro State University’s Craig Johnson explained that the state must start training gambling counselors in the context of the current betting bill under consideration. 

After finishing her master's in publishing and writing, Melanie began her career as an online editor for a large gaming blog and has now transitioned over towards the iGaming industry. She helps to ensure that our news pieces are written to the highest standard possible under the guidance of senior management.

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