Senator Files 4th Sports Betting Bill With Highest Tax Rate Yet

Written By Mike Breen on April 8, 2024 - Last Updated on April 9, 2024
A picture of rising stacks of coins for a story about Minnesota's fourth sports betting bill, with its highest tax rate yet.

Sen. John Marty introduced a new sports betting bill to the Minnesota Senate.

Senate File 5330 sets the tax rate at 40%, creates several problem gambling safeguards and directs the majority of tax revenue to health and treatment programs. It also sets limits on player losses and would prohibit in-game betting.

He introduced the measure at the end of last week. Lawmakers referred it to the Senate’s State and Local Government and Veterans Committee, awaiting a hearing.

New bill distributes 75% of tax revenue to problem gambling services

This is the third Minnesota sports betting bill lawmakers have introduced in the Senate this year.

At the start of the legislative session, Sen. Jeremy Miller introduced Senate File 3803 (known as Minnesota Sports Betting Act 2.0). It saw no movement. Miller has since supported Sen. Matt Klein’s Senate File 1949. It was first filed last year and has passed through a couple of Senate committee hearings this session. SF 1949 is the companion bill to the House’s HF 2000, which has also been working its way through committee hearings.

While the other sports betting bills have settled on a 20% tax rate on sports betting revenue, Marty’s bill doubles that amount. Unlike the other bills, SF 5330 would direct the majority of tax revenue to problem gambling and health services.

Here’s how Marty’s bill proposes to distribute sports betting tax revenue:

  • 25% to problem gambling treatment programs
  • 25% to the National Council on Problem Gambling’s Minnesota branch
  • 25% to addiction and mental health services in schools
  • 25% to the state’s general fund

SF 5330 also includes significant problem gambling safeguards

Other significant differences from other Minnesota sports betting legislation can be found in some of the problem gambling safeguards in Marty’s bill.

Along with a ban on wagering during games, other safeguards include requiring sportsbooks to set limits for customers’ losses. Players would be limited to:

  • $500 in losses in a 24-hour period
  • $3,000 in losses over a 30-day period
  • $500 limit on the amount a person can deposit into their account per day
  • Four continuous hours logged into their account

SF 5330 also prohibits sportsbooks from sending mobile users push notifications while logged out of their accounts. The bill also contains several advertising restrictions, including a ban on sportsbook ads appearing in any medium where 10% or more of the audience is under the legal betting age of 21.

Republicans seek more concessions to racetracks and charitable organizations

Marty has been one of the few Senate members of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor (DFL) to push back against SF 1949 over problem gambling concerns. He is reportedly one of the lawmakers behind an amendment to SF 1949 that prohibits sportsbooks from allowing in-game betting. Some who want any sports betting legislation in Minnesota to include significant problem gambling safeguards applauded the amendment.

Sportsbook operators and some tribes have opposed the bill. They say not allowing in-game betting would seriously curtail revenue.

The DFL Party holds a one-seat majority over Republicans in the Minnesota Senate. Republicans have pushed for concessions to the state’s racetracks and charitable gambling organizations in any sports wagering legislation.

Marty didn’t include either in his measure.

Sponsors of sports betting bills in both the House and Senate have made some concessions to charitable gaming and tracks to gain Republican support, but more is being sought.

Marty has indicated that he won’t vote for a sports betting bill that does not contain significant safeguards and support for problem gambling programs.

In an op-ed published in the Star Tribune in March, Marty wrote that the potential revenue from sports betting wasn’t significant enough to offset the risks it would bring.

“I am working with a bipartisan group of colleagues to ensure that any sports betting legislation addresses the devastating economic, social and mental health impacts, including suicide risks, on many bettors and their families, as well as the impact on the integrity of sports and the risks to athletes.”

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Mike Breen

As a contributor to PlayMinnesota, Mike Breen covers most angles of the state's gambling industry. Currently, he is focusing on the state's legislative progress surrounding sports betting bills. However, he can be found writing about many aspects of Minnesota gaming.

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