Minnesota House passes legal sports betting bill – Duluth News Tribune

 Minnesota House passes legal sports betting bill – Duluth News Tribune

ST. PAUL – Legal sports betting passed a major milestone in the Minnesota Legislature Thursday night, May 12, with the House of Representatives voting to approve a bill that would allow a practice already allowed in all surrounding states. But as the legislative session approaches, the Senate has yet to act on its version of the gambling proposal, reducing the chances of a state change in the law.

The bipartisan proposal authored by Reps. Zack Stephenson, DFL-Coon Rapids, and Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, will allow tribal casinos to offer personal and mobile sports betting within the state of Minnesota. Tax revenue from sports betting will go to gambling addiction programs, youth sports and gambling law enforcement efforts.

Stephenson and Garofalo argue that sports betting already happens in Minnesota but now happens on the black market, which does not provide protection to consumers.

“Finally it’s an issue whose time has come,” Stephenson said as he urged fellow House members to vote yes Thursday night. “Minnesotans want us to talk. They want it to be legal, it’s a step in the right direction. ”

The House approved bill 70-57 with bipartisan support. Changes adopted by the floor include increasing state-funded problem gambling counseling hours from 12 to 60 hours, and preventing gambling apps from sending push notifications to phones unless the company suspects fraud.

Even with Minnesota’s legal sports betting being closer to reality than ever, it still faces a major hurdle in the Senate. Lino Lakes Republican Roger Chamberlain introduced a sports betting bill that would also allow two horse tracks in the Twin Cities-area to provide betting services, but it was not approved by the Senate. Lawmakers have until May 22 to pass any bills.

“Sports gambling is still an ongoing job,” Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller, R-Winona, said Tuesday. “I think that if the stakeholders can come together and try to find a common ground, where there are opportunities available in tribal casinos, as well as in lanes, and maybe if there is something we can do to help benefit our charities, I think you can still do it in this session. But we’re running out of time for that to happen. “

The fortunes for legal sports betting appear to be much better than ever in the 2022 legislative session. Before lawmakers met in January, Democrats and Republicans in key leadership positions in the House and Senate expressed interest in passing a bill.

The prospects looked even better after the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association expressed support for Stephenson’s bill. However, the gambling association has not issued a statement of support for a senate legal sports betting proposal that would allow horse tracks to also provide the service. Governor Tim Walz said he would not sign a sports betting bill without tribal support.

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