Minnesota Sports Betting Act May Be Finalized This Week

Minnesota State Sen. Jeremy Miller (R-Winona) is planning to introduce the Minnesota Sports Betting Act soon in an effort to legalize sports wagering in the state.

“As other states move to authorize sports betting, Minnesota is falling behind,” Miller said in a press statement recently. “We are the only state in the region where it remains fully illegal to bet on sports. The Minnesota Sports Betting Act is a fair and responsible proposal to authorize sports betting here.”

The Sports Betting Market in Minnesota

The legal online sports betting industry has grown into an economic engine, generating more than $2.47 billion in tax revenue across the U.S. since May 2018. Over 44 percent of the U.S. population is now able to bet legally on sports.

GeoComply, a company that verifies bettors are located in a legal sports betting state, conducted a record 100 million geolocation checks across 23 U.S. states and the District of Columbia for legal, online wagering during Super Bowl LVII this weekend. Minnesotans of course missed out since sports betting is currently illegal in the state. In addition, many Kansas City Chiefs fans in Missouri were also blocked from betting on the game.

Kansas online sports betting launched in September, but the Kansas City Chiefs’ stadium—and many of its fans—are located in Missouri, where sports betting is not yet legal. GeoComply recorded 2.2 million legal sports betting geolocation transactions in Kansas. Missourians made attempts to access legal sportsbooks in other states a quarter-of-a-million times and were blocked from betting.

“Every state that regulates sports betting is a blow to the predatory black market that operates in the shadows, providing zero safeguards for bettors and no economic benefit to the local community,” said Anna Sainsbury, GeoComply Co-Founder & CEO.

Meanwhile, Minnesota lawmakers are drafting a bill for the state.

“It’s time to authorize sports betting in Minnesota,” Sen. Miller said in a press statement.

Miller says the proposal is good for Indian tribes, horse racing tracks, professional sports teams, “and most importantly, it’s good for the folks who would like to bet on sports here in Minnesota. This is long overdue and it’s time to get it done.”

The Situation Around the Country

Americans are gambling on sports in massive numbers. In 2022, the United States online sports wagering revenue was more than $80 billion, Miller said in his statement. He stated 36 states and Washington D.C. have legalized sports betting since 2018.

“Minnesota is the only state in our region without a legal sports betting option,” he said. Surrounding states North Dakota, South Dakota, Wisconsin, and Iowa have legalized some form of sports betting, either in-person retail wagering or online.

“This means Minnesotans must cross state lines to bet on games or find illegal workarounds with online vendors,” Miller said. “Legalizing betting in the state would mean Minnesotans can bet in the state and know they are doing so in a safe, structured, and regulated manner.”

Funds from Minnesota’s sports betting program would be divided equally as follows: 25% for tax relief for charities, 25% for mental health and problem gambling support, 25% for major sporting events, and 25% for grants to support youth sports throughout the state.

Political Editor

Keith Stein is a freelance journalist based in Virginia. He has experience in freelance writing, full-time journalism and supporting monthly and weekly news publications. He has also worked as a contributing writer with United Press International.