House Committee Set To Hear Sports Betting Bill Wednesday

Written By Steve Schult on April 2, 2024 - Last Updated on April 9, 2024
A picture of microphone stands on table for a story about how a House committee will hear a sports betting bill Wednesday.

A House committee is set to discuss its chamber’s lone sports betting bill Wednesday afternoon.

The House Taxes Committee will discuss HF 2000 on Wednesday at 1 p.m. It is one of three Minnesota sports betting bills in the legislature this year.

However, the other two are in two bills are in the Senate. In other words, Rep. Zack Stephenson’s bill is the only option in the House.

Committee will look at bill’s new amendments

Stephenson, a Democrat representing Coon Rapids, told local media the committee was focused on reviewing recent amendments lawmakers made to the bill.

Last week, the House State and Local Government Finance and Policy Committee passed the bill but made two significant changes.

First, the committee added daily fantasy sports to the bill. As a result, both sports betting and DFS would be regulated by the state if the bill becomes law.

Then, the committee amended the bill to allow $40 million in charitable gaming tax breaks.

“A significant amendment was adopted to the sports betting bill in the State Government committee,” Stephenson told KTOE radio. “So, the committee has a chance to see that work and understand what was done in the state government committee.”

Next committee should be one of last hurdles before floor vote

Stephenson’s bill was introduced during the 2023 legislative session but held over to this year’s iteration.

Since last year’s introduction, this is the bill’s seventh committee hearing with six different bodies. The State and Local Government Finance and Policy Committee passed the bill last year and this year.

The Taxes Committee will be the third hearing the legislation will face this year. After that, it likely heads to the House floor for a vote.

The only real opponents of Stephenson’s bill is the state’s horse racing industry. The bill gives the tribes control over the possible market.

Tribes already have exclusivity over casino gaming. But the racetracks typically have cardrooms attached to them.

If the House passes the bill, it heads to the Senate for another few rounds of committees and a floor vote. Gov. Tim Walz already indicated he would sign a sports betting bill that gets to his desk.

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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