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One Last Chance For Minnesota Sports Betting In 2024

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An effort to get a Minnesota sports betting bill across the finish line in the state legislature is underway, but will it pass in time for sine die on Monday, May 20th?

A hearing has been scheduled for this afternoon at 1 p.m. to consider MN HF2000, a bill that would legalize local sports betting, fantasy contests, and DFS. Legislators on both sides of the aisle are behind this latest sports betting effort, but so far, it appears that more votes are needed for passage.

Will Minnesota Sports Betting Become Legal?

What is keeping MN sports betting from swiftly passing through the House and Senate is a disagreement on how the state’s tribes and racetracks will be included. HF2000 includes provisions for Minnesota tribes to control domestic sports betting in the state.

In the bill, $625,000 will be given to MN’s two racetracks each year to compensate for their lack of inclusion in the domestic sports betting market. Racino owners are not on board with this workaround, and they shouldn’t be.

For in-person casinos, the inclusion of sportsbooks serves as a loss leader, with the intent of attracting players to their real-money games that have higher profit margins for the house.

The natural lag time between placing a bet and the game or match ending creates a window for players to walk onto the casino floor and spend money. Local racetrack casinos are seeking to be a part of the action and are not looking for a handout.

There are also disagreements on whether live betting and prop bets for college sports should be allowed. Recent gambling schemes that have been uncovered in the NBA have shown how players can directly influence the outcome of prop bets.

Because of these prop-fixing scandals, we expect any legislation that gets the green light in MN to include prohibitions on in-game wagering and NCAA props.

Other Outside Influences

The presence of legal sports betting states surrounding MN has some politicians pressing the alarm button while others seem poised to wait it out until all parties are satisfied.

Unless local options are made available to Minnesotans, they will choose to either visit bordering states where sportsbooks are regulated or gamble with an online sports betting site that is based offshore. When gambling dollars are spent at out-of-state venues, there is no benefit to the local economy.

If MN HF2000 is successful, Minnesota would become the 39th state to legalize domestic sportsbooks.

The Minnesota Legislature | Twin Cities

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