Sports Betting Bill Absent From Day 1 Of Legislative Session, Will Be Filed Soon

Written By Steve Schult on February 12, 2024
A picture of an absent note for a story about how the MN sports betting bill filing was delayed

Monday marked the start of Minnesota’s 2024 legislative session. It was also expected to mark the introduction of a bill from Sen. Jeremy Miller that would legalize sports betting.

However, the Minnesota sports betting legislation was noticeably absent from the first day’s filings.

Sports betting enthusiasts in the North Star State shouldn’t worry. The bill will be filed in one of the next couple of sessions.

“We are just waiting on the jackets to come back,” Miller’s legislative assistant, Maureen Watson, told PlayMinnesota.

Once official paperwork comes back, they will submit the bill

Legislatively speaking, “jackets” are just the official paperwork.

Once lawmakers draft the bill with the language they want, they send the draft to a separate department to put the draft into official government documents. Those documents are called “jackets.”

The department works for both the House and the Senate and can have a long backlog of bills to formalize. Once completed, they send the official bills back to the lawmakers, who can formally file them with the chamber.

Miller’s office expects to file Thursday or next Monday

Once filed, SC 0789 can start its path toward becoming a law. This is the second attempt in as many years to legalize sports betting. As a result, the legislation has been dubbed the “Minnesota Sports Betting Act 2.0.”

Watson told PlayMinnesota that the next available time slot to file the bill is on Thursday. If the jackets aren’t back in time, they hope the session on Monday, Feb. 19 is the worst-case scenario.

Tribes will have online exclusivity, tracks can operate retail

According to a press release from the Minnesota Senate Republican Caucus, Miller’s bill aims to bring “various stakeholders and legislators on both sides of the aisle together to legalize sports betting in Minnesota.”

There are two major stakeholders in the current Minnesota gambling landscape. There are tribal casinos and commercial horse tracks, which also operate cardrooms.

Miller’s bill would give Minnesota’s 11 tribal nations the ability to offer retail and online sports betting. Any of those license holders could then operate retail sportsbooks at horse tracks or pro sports stadiums.

Balancing the desires of these two entities will be key in passing legislation.

The bill would tax sports betting revenue at 15%. That new tax revenue would help fund local charities, attract major sporting events to the state, boost horse racing, provide problem gambling resources, support youth athletics and facilitate athlete education programs.

Photo by PlayMinnesota
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Steve Schult

The managing editor for PlayMinnesota and several other Catena Media sites, Steve stays on top of all things related to the national gaming industry. He is also a veteran of the gambling world. The native New Yorker started covering high-stakes tournaments in 2009 for some of poker’s most prominent media outlets before adding the broader U.S. gaming market to his beat in 2018.

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