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Legalized Minnesota Sports Betting Back on Track

Legalized Minnesota Sports Betting Back on Track
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The legislative session is ending, but legalized Minnesota sports betting seems to be back on track. The House Ways and Means Committee approved a bill to legalize sports betting in the state. However, it will ban gambling devices at horse racing tracks. Also, there are only six legislative days left in the current session.

The committee has taken a significant step forward by approving a delete-all amendment through a voice vote. This amendment incorporates the wording of HF2000 (sports betting) into the original text of HF5274 (horse track rules). As a political news forum reported, both chambers have voted to send the merged bill to the floor for further consideration, marking a crucial stage in the legislative process.

Both proposals are sponsored by Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids), who believes that making sports betting legal is the best approach to dealing with the growing illegal market in the state.

Legalized Minnesota Sports Betting

Stephenson said that this would enhance the state’s financial line and allow for the funding of programs to assist problem gamblers by enabling the state to collect taxes on all sports bets, including soccer betting. According to the measure, anyone over 21 could wager on many sporting events, including esports, which would also award sports betting licenses to eleven of Minnesota’s tribal nations. There would be physical sites on tribal territory where people could place bets or use mobile applications licensed to tribal governments.

The only fantasy contests where wagers could be put were those involving horses or youth sports. Bets made via a website or mobile app would be subject to a tax equal to 20% of the net income. Under the proposed tax, wagers made on tribal land would not be subject to the tax.

The economic sustainability of Minnesota’s two horse racing venues is already in jeopardy owing to the decreasing prizes they can pay. Therefore, Stephenson said the measure would outlaw betting on horse races.

Sports Betting Tax Appropriations

Part of the levy money would go toward yearly purse supplements at the tracks totaling $625,000; 72% would go to Canterbury Park and 28% to Running Aces. The state has taken measures to safeguard horse racing, including providing more funding for purses. Still, Rep. Brian Pfarr (R-Le Sueur) said that the tracks would suffer significantly if sports betting were legalized.

With this legislation, the Department of Public Safety would receive $8.32 million in 2025 to establish and regulate mobile sports betting and fantasy contests. Allocations will be $5.47 million annually starting in fiscal year 2027, with $5.49 million set aside for fiscal year 2026.

According to ABC Per Head sources, Canterbury Park and Running Aces would be prohibited from using “historical horse racing” machines as gambling devices according to the law.

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