Sports betting Bill Under Negotiation in Minnesota

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

These are the latest stories involving the sports betting industry in Minnesota. 

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Sports betting Bill Under Negotiation in Minnesota

(May 10, 2023) - The Senate State and Local Government and Veterans Committee advanced an amended MN sports betting bill, SF 1949, Wednesday, 8-5.  But will that be enough to support the race track industry?

Sen. Matt Klein has made it clear that taking away tribal exclusivity is a nonstarter.  There are, however, Republican lawmakers willing to work to find a solution.  The Republicans mostly want the racetracks included in any deal.

“The tracks have a legitimate concern and making sure they are sustainable is a goal,” Klein said Wednesday. “There are ways we can make sure the tracks can feel included.”

Klein amended the bill in the committee to direct 30% of sports betting tax revenue to the tracks.  Track representatives are not completely satisfied as they fear the industry will take business away.

There are just two weeks left in the legislative session.  But stranger things have happened.  Witness Kentucky's last minute passage of a bill that was a bit of a long shot to pass.

Minnesota Sports Betting Bill Gaining Some Steam

(May 3, 2023) - Minnesota sports betting has life but, like in some other states, there are conflicts. In the case of the Gopher State, it's the tribes vs. the race tracks.

Sen. Matt Klein, DFL-Mendota Heights, offered an amendment to his sports betting legislation that would aid the state's two horse-racing tracks.  They weren't a part of his initial bill.

From the Star Tribune:

Under his plan, sports gambling would be taxed at 10% with 30% of that going to an economic development fund for the tracks capped at $20 million. After that initial infusion, the two tracks would split $3 million annually.

Time is not on the side of proponents for this bill. The legislative adjournment in the state is May 22.

Klein's amendment would allow only the state's 11 tribes to obtain sports betting licenses. The tribes already have exclusive rights to casino gambling.  The Republicans are on the side of the race tracks.

"There's not going to be an agreement on this unless the tracks, the teams and the tribes are at the table and negotiate a compromise," said Rep. Pat Garofolo, R-Farmington. "I know there's a lot of things happening at the Capitol with the Democrats jamming things down people's throats but sports gambling is not going to be one of them."

There's probably not enough time for that to happen before the May 22 deadline.

Then again, Kentucky got the job done in the final hours.  Anything is possible we suppose.

- Gilbert Horowitz,

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