Minnesota Tribal Gaming Group Throws Support Behind Sports Betting Bill

Written By Phil West on February 15, 2024 - Last Updated on March 8, 2024
A picture of the MIGA logo superimposed over people supporting a girl being tossed in the air for a story about the group's support of the MN sports betting bill.

One of Minnesota’s most invested constituencies in the current gaming debate – tribes – have registered their support for the current sports betting bill.

Andy Platto, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, told KARE-TV this week that the group supports Minnesota Sports Betting Act 2.0.

“The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association supports state efforts to authorize sports wagering both at tribal gaming properties and through online/mobile platforms. Tribes are best positioned to provide this new offering to the state’s consumers. MIGA and its members will be closely following the progress of state legislation and look forward to working with other stakeholders to develop an approach that benefits Minnesotans while protecting the Indian gaming operations that tribal and rural communities rely on for jobs and economic health.”

Bill’s author is optimistic it will pass this year

State Sen. Jeremy Miller filed Senate File 3803, known as Minnesota Sports Betting Act 2.0, earlier this month. It would allow the state’s 11 federally recognized tribes to operate online sportsbooks. Additionally, they could partner with sports teams or racetracks on retail sportsbooks.

The bill enjoys bipartisan support, Miller said.

“I’m feeling pretty optimistic. Minnesotans are already betting on sports. They’re just doing it in other states or they’re doing it illegally, so now is the time to get it done so we can regulate the market as well as help generate some sales tax revenue.”

Like other states, Minnesota tribes have exclusivity over the casino industry. Minnesota is home to 38 casinos, all of them tribal-owned.

The commercial gaming interests in Minnesota are the racetracks, which double as cardrooms. Those entities can allow customers to bet on races and play card games like poker. But slot machines and house-backed games are only found at tribal properties.

Tax on sports betting could generate $60 million in three years

According to the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association’s website, the organization “has served as the collective voice of its members on vital issues affecting gaming. Led by elected officials from Minnesota’s tribal nations, MIGA educates and advocates to protect tribal gaming.”

The site also points out that casino operations have “given Minnesota’s sovereign tribal nations a means to improve the lives of their people, foster economic development and strengthen self-government.”

Sports betting could expand revenue for both the state and tribes significantly, KARE-TV noted.

“The Minnesota Department of Revenue projects sports betting could bring $400 million in revenue within about three years. Senator Miller’s bill calls for a 15% state tax, which would mean the state could expect to see about $60 million in new tax revenue.”

Photo by PlayMinnesota
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Phil West

Phil West is a longtime journalist based in Austin, Texas, whose bylines have appeared in The Daily Dot, Nautilus, Pro Soccer USA, Howler, Los Angeles Times, Seattle Times, Philadelphia Inquirer, San Antonio Express-News, Austin American-Statesman, and Austin Chronicle. He has also written two books about soccer.

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