Major changes in new MN Senate sports betting bill

Major changes in new MN Senate sports betting bill

Major changes in new MN Senate sports betting bill

An amended sports betting bill in the Minnesota Senate makes changes that will have a “massive” impact on the amount of revenue that will be brought into the state. The biggest change is that “in-game” wagering would not be allowed to help keep compulsive gamblers from betting too much.

“You can’t sort of bet in the first quarter and then bet again in the third quarter on the same game,” says Senator Matt Klein, DFL-Mendota Heights. “You have to have all your wagers lined up before the whistle blows and you’re done for that game.”

That and another amendment, which would allow gamblers to set “self-imposed” limits on how much they can bet in a day, caused revenue projections to drop from an estimated $40 million annually to $18 million. The money would be split between the state’s general fund, Native American tribes, horse racing tracks, compulsive gambling programs, grants to Minnesota Sports and Events, tax relief for charitable gambling organizations and youth sports. 

To make up for some of that revenue shortfall, Klein amended his bill to double the tax on sports wagers from 10% to 20%.

Republicans objected to the higher taxes. About 20% of revenue would go to charitable gambling organizations, but only about 5% to the state’s two horse tracks.

“We need to do more for our charities,” says Sen. Jeremy Miller, R-Winona. “I’ll also continue to advocate for more money and more flexibility for the horse racing tracks to enhance the horse racing industry here in the state of Minnesota.”

Sports betting bills have many more steps in both the House and Senate before getting votes on the floors of both chambers.

Gov. Tim Walz says he plans to sign a sports betting bill if one gets to his desk.