As millions of Americans bet on Super Bowl, Minnesota lawmakers look to get in on action
The American Gaming Association estimates 68 million people bet on the Super Bowl this year, with more than $23 billion wagered on the game. But Minnesotans were left standing on the sidelines.
Right now, the states that border Minnesota allow some form of sports betting, and 37 states have already legalized it.
A KSTP/SurveyUSA poll recently showed 55% of likely voters support legalized gambling in Minnesota.
Sen. Matt Klein, DFL-Mendota Heights, is the lead author of a bill set to be introduced this legislative session that would legalize sports betting. He told 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS it was time Minnesota got in on some of the action.
“Studies show that people who are in states that legalized are participating in sports wagering at equal levels to people in states who haven’t legalized. People are doing it anyway,” Klein said.
Speaking on “At Issue with Tom Hauser,” former state Sen. Ember Reichgott Junge said she did not see legalized sports betting as a high priority in this legislative session.
“My question is what is this priority and why? It doesn’t even give that much money back to the state,” Reichgott Junge said.
Klein said the state would see a fairly sizable revenue generator if sports betting is legalized.
“People would spend, after a couple years, $400 million in the state of Minnesota on sports wagering,” Klein estimated. “We would collect 10% of that in taxes, which means that every year we would take in $40 millon in tax revenues from this activity.”
Lawmakers will convene at the Minnesota State Capitol on Monday to kick off the legislative session.