February 22, 2023 3 min read


New Bill Seeks Sports Betting Exclusivity for Minnesota Tribes

The bill would meet opposition from the two state's racetracks which would be excluded from operating sports betting

A newly-proposed sports betting bill to the Senate in Minnesota seeks to grant the state’s tribes exclusive rights to offer both brick-and-mortar and mobile sports betting.

The New Bill Proposal

Introduced by Rep. Zach Stephenson, the proposal will authorize Minnesota’s eleven tribes to operate sports wagering, allowing residents to place bets at their tribal casinos or anywhere in the state on a mobile app but would exclude from participation professional sports teams and the two racetracks.

Online sportsbook operators such as FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars and others will get their fair share of the future legalized sports betting market in partnership with one of the tribes. Each tribe will be allowed to partner with only one commercial sports betting operator.

The tax rate on operator revenue would be 10% and is expected to generate between $10 million and $12 million a year for the state, 20% of which will be allocated for regulations and consumer protection, 40% will go towards problem gambling, and another 40% will be used to fund youth sports and other youth programs, prioritizing communities with high youth crime rates.

While presenting the bill, Stephenson outlined that the main purpose of the bill is not to raise money for the state but rather legalize a market that is now illicit and give Minnesotans “the same opportunities” their neighbors in Iowa and Wisconsin already have.

MIGA and Professional Sports Teams

Historically an opposition to any form of gambling expansion, the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA) expressed its support for the bill in a letter to Stephenson.

MIGA’s executive director, Andy Platto, wrote in the letter that the proposal “would not only support [the] Tribes but would also provide a well-regulated and accessible market for the state’s sports bettors and a competitive market that is important to our state’s professional sports teams and market partners.”

Professional sports teams in the state also expressed their support for the bill, with team officials from the Timberwolves, Lynx, Wild, Vikings, Twins, and United FC issuing a joint statement, which read:

As you know, the Tribes and Teams have worked together for many months to find alignment on a bill that will create a vibrant market while providing for consumer protections. We greatly value our tribal partnerships, our opportunity to work with MIGA, and greatly respect Minnesota’s tribal nations.

MIGA letter excerpt

Racetracks Believe They Should Be Included

Representatives of the two racetracks that would be left behind were not convinced that the bill would reflect the interests of tribal government, racetracks and sports teams, and a spokesperson for Canterbury Park urged legislators to create a long-term plan that will suit all three interest groups.

Running Aces directly opposed the proposal, arguing that the racetrack should be able to offer sports wagering on the same level as the state’s tribal casinos and that any bill which excludes the racetrack from sports betting would jeopardize the future of the horse racing industry in Minnesota.

The bill which currently resides with the House’s Commerce Finance and Policy Committee is not expected to be up to a floor voting before April as it still needs approval from six House committees.

Lead Author

With 4 years experience as an analyst, Julie—or ‘Jewels’, as we aptly refer to her in the office—is nothing short of a marvel-worthy in her attention to the forex and cryptocurrency space as she quickly became the first pick to co-pilot education to the masses with Mike.

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