MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — For years, proposals to expand gambling in Minnesota have been rejected by the state legislature.
But this year, a sports betting bill may actually pass.
READ MORE: ‘When and not if’: Minnesota lawmakers set to introduce bills that would make sports betting legal
Each of Minnesota’s neighboring states has sports betting and this could be the year Minnesota approves it as well. In the past, Republicans have taken him down largely on moral grounds. The DFL players took it down because the Native tribes of Minnesota, who are big supporters of the DFL, said no.
But things are changing. The first domino to fall was a 2018 Supreme Court ruling that lets states decide whether they want sports betting. Since then, 33 states have adopted sports betting.
And now a powerful bipartisan coalition is backing a bill that would legalize sports betting here. Supporters include Republican Senator Roger Chamberlin of Lino Lakes and DFL Senator Karla Bigham of Cottage Grove.
More than a generation ago, Governor Rudy Perpich signed a pact with no expiration date giving native tribes a monopoly on casino gambling and preventing the state from collecting tax revenue.
READ MORE: ‘We can provide what Vegas has’: sports betting approved for Wisconsin tribal casinos
But this new bill would require negotiating a new pact with the tribes that would allow the state to collect taxes.
Bigham was a guest on WCCO Sunday Morning.
“When we’re talking about a possibility of betting $2 billion over the course of a year in Minnesota,” Bigham said. “The tax structure, by the looks of it, ranges from $30 million to almost $100 million.”
This estimate of 30 to 100 million dollars is annual. The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association has signaled that it is open to sports betting in the state and said it is willing to work with lawmakers.
The Chamberlin-Bigham proposal would allow sports betting at casinos and the state’s two racetracks. It would also allow online betting through providers that the tribes would oversee.
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