Last Thursday, the Minnesota Sports Betting bill HF 778 made it pass the through the Senate Finance Committee. This brought about a lot of excitement for sports gamblers in Minnesota as it would allow them to legally wager on sports. However, despite the efforts of pro-gambling lawmakers, Minnesota Fails to Legalize Sports Betting.
According to sports betting software providers, the bill had too many issues lawmakers could not agree on. The main issue was both chambers could not agree on was giving tribes exclusive rights over the sports gambling industry. Therefore, the Senate Finance Committee made a last-minute change to the bill.
This amendment would have giving racetracks and professional sports team the ability to apply for a sports betting license. However, the tribes did not want to share the monopoly and chose to not support the bill. In the end, without the support of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, the bill did not pass.
Minnesota Fails to Legalize Sports Betting This year
This was the third attempt by lawmakers to legalize sports betting in Minnesota. As legal sports betting in the U.S. is becoming more prevalent, states are in a rush to follow suit. This is because they understand that neighboring states will take away gambling tax revenue if they do not.
For Minnesota, failing to legalize sports betting this year means losing a 10% tax on gaming revenue. According to a fiscal note, they just lost $5.6 million for 2024 for $12.8 million in 2025. Therefore, not passing the bill means losing between $20 million and $30 million a year in a mature sports wagering market.
The main clash for the bill not passing is that MIGA is in opposition of not-tribal commercial expansion. On the other hand, lawmakers in favor of the bill want a healthy sports betting market. Therefore, they want more competition for more competitive odds and prices.
Minnesota lawmakers will probably try again to legalize sports betting next year. However, it might be a fruitless endeavor unless they can come up with a compromise with the tribes.