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Minnesota lawmaker to introduce sports betting bill

(The Center Square) – Sen. Jeremy Miller plans tointroduce a bill to legalize sports betting bill in Minnesota in 2024.

The new bill including feedback received from constituents, legislators and a variety of stakeholders is expected to be introduced Feb. 12 – the first day of the 2024 legislative session.

“Minnesota continues to miss out on what is now a $100 billion industry,“ Miller, R-Winona, said in a statement. “So far, 38 other states, plus Puerto Rico and Washington, DC, have already legalized sports betting. This updated proposal combines ideas from my original Minnesota Sports Betting Act along with provisions from other sports betting bills that were introduced last session. It also includes ideas brought forward by constituents and stakeholders. The goal of this proposal is to bring folks together to work toward a bipartisan solution to legalize sports betting in Minnesota. I strongly believe we can get it done this year.”

Key components of the Minnesota Sports Betting Act 2.0 include:

* Licensing opportunities for Minnesota’s 11 tribal nations to offer retail and mobile sports betting. License holders would also have the option to operate retail betting on the premises of horse racing tracks or professional sports stadiums in Minnesota, under a partnership agreement with the track operator or sports team to whom the facility pertains.

* A 15% tax rate on sports betting revenue, which is broadly in line with the national average.

* Tax proceeds would provide charitable gaming tax relief for local charities, attract major sporting events to the state, boost horse racing, provide problem gambling resources, support youth sports, and facilitate athlete education programs.

* Restoring some of the controversial charitable gaming options that were eliminated by the 2023 tax bill, including free plays and bonus games on electronic pull-tabs.

“Changes made to electronic pull-tabs last session raised significant concerns from charities across the state,” Miller said. “Restoring some of the functions that were eliminated in last year’s omnibus tax bill would address some of their concerns.”

In 2018, a United States Supreme Court ruling struck down a 1992 federal law that effectively banned most states from authorizing commercial sports gambling. Sports wagering has been rapidly gaining acceptance in America ever since. 38 states and Washington D.C. have legalized sports betting since the SCOTUS decision.

Americans are now gambling on sports in massive numbers. In 2023, United States sports wagering revenue surpassed $100 billion.

Minnesotans must either cross state lines to gamble legally or use a virtual private network that mimics the location of another state. Either way, Minnesota misses out on tax revenue via the ban.

An effort to legalize sports betting failed last year.

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