Minnesota House sends sports betting bill to Senate

The House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday to legalize sports betting in Minnesota, but it faces an uphill battle in the Senate in its current form.

The bill passed the House 70-57. It would allow mobile and online sports betting for Minnesotans aged 21 and older through services that partner with Native American tribes.

Senate Republicans support a separate version that would also allow people to place bets at the state’s two horse racing tracks, a provision that has thus far lacked support in the House.

Rep. Patrick Garofalo, R-Farmington, co-author of the bipartisan House bill, acknowledged the Senate and House need to reconcile their differences to make legal sports betting a reality.

“Now is the time to bring stakeholders together to work on legislation that can pass with broad, bipartisan support in both legislative chambers,” Garofalo said in a statement. “Through compromise and working together, we can put a bill on the Governor’s desk that satisfies the concerns of stakeholders and lawmakers.”

A KSTP/SurveyUSA poll taken in April showed 57% of Minnesotans support legalizing sports betting both at tribal casinos and at horse tracks. The same proportion supports mobile sports betting.