Sports Betting May Come to Minnesota After Supreme Court Ruling

May 14, 2018 06:41 PM

A decision by the U.S. Supreme Court means American sports fans will soon have many more places to place legal bets on the results of football, baseball, basketball, hockey and other games.

RELATED: Supreme Court Makes Sports Betting a Possibility Nationwide


The high court ruled 6-3 against a 1992 law that barred state-authorized sports gambling with some exceptions. Five states had already passed bills that would legalize sports betting if the court ever ruled the way it did today. Several states are likely to follow in the coming months or years as they seek to capitalize on the economic growth and tax revenue that legal gambling can bring.

One of those states is Minnesota where Republican Rep. Pat Garofalo, R-Farmington, already has a bill drafted and ready to go.

"I look forward to Minnesota joining those states that are going to provide for a safe, fair and regulated sports gambling experience," Garofalo said at a news conference Monday on the front steps of the State Capitol. "As opposed to the current environment which is a black market, under the radar and we don't know what this money is going for."

Garofalo says his bill would set up a framework for taxing and regulating sports betting in Minnesota.

"Minnesota currently does not have the regulatory infrastructure to even regulate sports gambling," according to Garofalo. "We don't have the expertise or experience so it's going to take a little bit of time. It's going to take longer than I want it to. It's going to take longer than most Minnesotans want it to."

With less than a week left in the legislative session, Garofalo says his legislation will likely have to wait until next year.
Including the four states where some form of sports gambling was already legal, 24 states have at least considered getting into business with sportsbook operators.

In Columbus Township, Minnesota Running Aces Casino and Racetrack hope to open a sports book. 

"We're excited for the possibility," Aaron Bedessem with Running Aces said. "Right now it's in the beginning stages, but knowing that we'll have a chance to have a sports book in this state is definitely a big plus for everybody."

The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association released the following in a statement:

This Supreme Court ruling, which effectively makes sports betting policy a matter for states to decide, was not unexpected.

The current Minnesota legislative session will adjourn on May 21, so we expect that serious consideration of the sports betting issue will be deferred until the 2019 session. Until then, MIGA tribes will take advantage of the interim to study the matter, conduct internal discussions, and work constructively with key legislative leadership to ensure that the tribal perspective is fully considered in the development of Minnesota's sports gambling policy.

The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association has long opposed the expansion of gambling. Whenever new forms of gambling are proposed, Indian tribes must carefully consider how these changes could affect the enterprises that serve as our tax base to support our sovereign government operations, the tribal communities where we provide services and the broader communities that are impacted by the jobs that have been created to support our enterprises.

Major League Baseball Players Association Executive Director Tony Clark said the following in a statement: 

The Court's decision is monumental, with far-reaching implications for baseball players and the game we love. From complex intellectual property questions to the most basic issues of player safety, the realities of widespread sports betting must be addressed urgently and thoughtfully to avoid putting our sport's integrity at risk as states proceed with legalization.

(The Associated Press contributed to this report.) 

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Joe Mazan and Tom Hauser.

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