Sports Betting Bill Filed In Minnesota, Gov. Tim Walz Says He’ll Sign It

Written By Steve Schult on February 15, 2024
A picture of Gov. Tim Walz, who said he would sign the sports betting bill filed Thursday.

The legal path to sports betting in Minnesota officially started Thursday.

In the second Senate floor session of the 2024 Minnesota legislature, Sen. Jeremy Miller filed SF 3803. The bill is informally known as Minnesota Sports Betting Act 2.0.

If passed, Miller’s legislation would legalize retail and online sports betting.

Furthermore, Gov. Tim Walz said he would sign the bill if it reached his desk. In other words, Minnesota sports betting legislation must only pass the legislature before it’s a reality.

Miller would give online sports betting control to tribes

The legislation would give the state’s 11 federally recognized tribes the ability to operate online sportsbooks.

But there are commercial gaming interests in the state, too. Miller would give racetracks, which also double as Minnesota cardrooms, the ability to operate retail sportsbooks.

Only Minnesotans 21 and up could participate in the new industry. The state would tax sports betting revenue at 15%.

Unlike other states, the new tax revenue would be used for a broad range of activities, including funding for youth sports.

Additionally, the bill would restore some charitable gaming options that a 2023 tax bill removed.

Walz looked at the legislation favorably, would sign it

As long as the bill can pass both chambers of the Minnesota legislature, the bill would almost certainly become law. The bill has been assigned to the Committee on State and Local Government and Veterans. That committee does not currently have a meeting on the schedule.

Earlier this week, Walz told local media he would sign the bill if it were on his desk.

“I think the issue is can they get a bill through the House and Senate that meets all those constituency needs,” Walz said. “If they do, I’ve said I will sign it.”

The “constituents” Walz referred to were the tribal casinos and the racetracks. Both want to have their share of Minnesota’s online sports betting market. It’s one of the biggest hurdles standing in the way of passing the legislature.

In 2023, US sports betting revenue nationwide was more than $100 billion. Minnesota is one of just 12 states devoid of a legal, regulated sports betting market.

Photo by AP Photo / Steve Karnowski
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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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