Minnesota Sports Betting Bill Passes the House and Moves to the Senate, But Still Looks Unlikely for 2022

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The legalization of Minnesota sports betting is still working its way through the state government. But how clear is the path to legalization, and is it likely to happen this year?

Minnesota sports betting bill HF 778, has managed to progress the house by a vote of 70-57. The piece of legislation made its way through five state House committees during this journey. It also saw some minor alterations during this time.

Minnesota sports betting bill HF 778, if implemented, would grant exclusivity for sports betting to the 11 federally recognized tribes in the state. Each tribe under this bill would receive the ability to implement retail sports betting at their respective casinos and an online skin.

Some of these alterations were amendments made on the House floor to address responsible gambling in the state. This included one that would institute a three-hour delay for bettors between the time they make a mobile deposit and are able to place a bet. An additional one bans the use of push notifications for mobile sports betting apps. However, a proposed amendment that would require online sports betting to have an in-person registration requirement was not accepted.

Now, the bill’s path to legislation sees it head to the Minnesota state Senate. However, with a May 23 legislative session deadline looming, Minnesota sports betting hopefuls are losing their faith. 

There is a different sports betting proposal that is in the Minnesota state Senate, however this one seems to have even less momentum. This proposal includes race tracks and professional sports teams in Minnesota. However, the bill has stalled thus far because of opposition in the chamber, mainly from Senate Republicans who oppose legalizing sports betting in the state.

According to the state Senate Majority Leader, Jeremy Miller, the chamber does not have the support that would be needed to pass a proposal that only includes tribal casino sports betting. However, without tribal support, any Minnesota sports betting bill is unlikely to pass. And it looks like the tribes will not support any proposal that includes Minnesota professional sports teams and Minnesota race tracks, like the Senate one.

In the past, the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association has not supported other Minnesota sports betting bills. This is because the tribes are hoping to keep other entities out of the sports betting and gaming world in the state. The tribes have been able to crush previous legislation attempts by opposing or withholding their support.

However, this time around, the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association is supporting the state House’s HF 778.

Sports betting legalization has a lot of support from Minnesotans, despite legislators being divided on the issue. Recent polls have found that the majority of residents are on the side of sports betting legalization.

Despite this support from citizens, it does appear that legal Minnesota sports betting is unlikely to pass this year. At this time, the proposals from the two chambers are too different. And with a deadline coming in just a matter of days, it is not likely the two chambers will be able to find a compromising deal.

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz has stated that the state government has no plans for a special legislative session in 2022. And with the normal legislative session deadline rapidly approaching, it looks like 2022 will not be the year for legal Minnesota sports betting.

Still, who knows what will happen in the next few days? The chambers could still pull off a miracle.

Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert.

The featured image for this post was sourced on Getty Images.