KSTP/SurveyUSA: Minnesotans ready to put money on sports betting
A sports betting bill has passed through several committees in the Minnesota House and appears to be gaining momentum.
There is also a sports betting proposal in the Minnesota Senate, but it hasn’t been heard in committee. If Minnesotans have a say in the matter, they might tell the state senate to put their money on legalizing sports betting.
According to our latest KSTP/SurveyUSA poll, 64% of respondents say sports betting should be made legal. Only 17% say they oppose the bill, while 19% are undecided.
“Fewer than one in five Minnesotans are opposed … so that really does suggest there’s a lot of public momentum for sports betting,” said Steven Schier, political analyst at Carleton College.
Legalizing sports betting in Minnesota has slowly been gathering steam since 2018 when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a 1992 law that banned sports betting in most states.
The ruling opened the door for states to capture some of the estimated $150 billion in annual illegal sports betting nationwide.
One potential snag to passage this year is the House bill only allowing sports betting in Native American casinos and on mobile devices with companies partnering with the tribes. That idea isn’t popular with many Senate Republicans or Minnesotans in our survey.
57% of respondents say they support sports betting in Native American casinos and the state’s two horse tracks, as the Senate plan proposes. 9% support sports betting only at horse tracks and 7% only at Native American casinos. 8% supported neither option, and 20% were unsure.
Native Americans have softened their opposition to expanding gambling as long as they are key players.
“House File 778 does recognize that tribes as the state’s gaming experts are best positioned to operate Minnesota’s sports betting market,” Andy Platto, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, told a House committee last month.
But Sen. Roger Chamberlain (R-Lino Lakes), the author of a Senate sports betting bill, says involving the horse tracks is key to helping save the Minnesota horse industry.
“The proposal here is good for tribes, it’s good for tracks, but most importantly it’s good for the consumers,” Chamberlain said when introducing his plan this session.
With some senators opposed to sports betting only in tribal casinos and some opposed for other reasons, it could be difficult to get through this session.
Schier noted the GOP controls the state senate, and the caucus is “internally divided about this. And until they get greater unanimity it’s unlikely the bill will proceed in the Senate.”
Our survey also shows overwhelming support for mobile sports betting with 57% in favor, 25% opposed, and 18% not sure.
View the poll results below.
SurveyUSA interviewed a representative cross-section of 650 Minnesota adults online from 04/06/22 through 04/11/22, using a sample provided by Lucid Holdings LLC of New Orleans. Of the adults, 556 were registered to vote and were asked the questions which follow. The pool of adult survey respondents was weighted to US Census targets for gender, age, race, education, and homeownership.