Will Minnesota Ever Allow Sports Betting?

For a lot of people who wish to gamble on sports, it can be frustrating to be in a location where it’s not allowed. People in Minnesota, for example, can jump literally any border and gamble legally.

So what are the chances that sports betting will be regulated and allowed in the state of Minnesota any time soon? Well, the good news for those who are looking into gambling in Minnesota is that there are potentially plans to change the online casino and sportsbook gambling laws.

Current gambling laws in Minnesota

The Minnesota gambling laws are currently a little on the confusing side, but you definitely cannot go to a casino or log in to an online casino, nor can you bet on your favorite Minnesota sports teams like the Twins in baseball.

The Minnesota Department of Public Safety is in charge of handling this and runs an Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement department that has some very stringent rules.

There are some gambling activities in Minnesota that are permitted, but these are very few and far between. From the government site: “Allowable gambling activities in Minnesota are licensed charitable gambling, including pull-tabs, paddlewheels, tipboards, bingo and raffles. The Minnesota Lottery, pari-mutuel betting on horse races, and tribal gaming are also permitted.”

If you have any questions about this then you can contact the Gambling Control Board. They are authorized to provide a license to anyone who wishes to run one of these gambling activities.

As you can see, there are a few exceptions, but in terms of sportsbook gambling, it is strictly prohibited and there are no legal ways to bet on the sports you know and love anywhere in Minnesota.

The future of Minnesota sports betting

There are many people who are pushing for online gambling and sportsbook betting to be allowed in Minnesota. Over the last few years, there have been bills to legalize that have not gone through to become law.

Rep. Zack Stephenson’s office has confirmed in 2023 that they will look to issue a similar bill this year. The Republican-controlled senate did not pass the bill last year but he could see more support in 2023.

The senator has been quoted as saying: “I have built up relationships with the stakeholders and I continue to support what consumers want, which is the option to play at brick-and-mortar and online venues, and through tribal nations and tracks, with commonsense protections for everyone involved.”

In 2022, the bill from Stephenson did get a lot of tribal support as it proposed that the tribes in the area would have some control of the industry. Many Indian gaming tribes have also invested in the industry in the area and they may need that control in order to support the bill. In 2023, support is definitely growing for a regulated market for sportsbook gambling.

When might we see legal gambling in Minnesota?

It’s important that nobody makes any promises when it comes to when gambling laws might be changed in Minnesota. It could be that we see some form of legal gambling as early as 2023, with more relaxed laws and better legislation to protect people. It’s possible that Minnesota will pass the bill and move towards being a state where sports gambling is allowed, and even other methods of betting, such as casinos.

Hoping for resolution in 2023 may be a little ambitious, though, and it could be that people who want to gamble on sports in the state will need to wait a little longer, with change possible in 2024.

What benefits might there be to legal sports betting?

One of the reasons why there is such a push in a lot of states to make gambling legal and regulate it properly is the fact that it can benefit the local area.

If Minnesota does follow some of the other states in making gambling legal in more scenarios, then it is very possible that there will be benefits in the area, including:

  • A boost to the economy. Gambling can bring more tax income and other benefits for the economy.
  • More jobs. Both online casinos and in-person casinos need people working for the companies, which could bring jobs to the region.
  • Tourism. The legalization of gambling may lead to more people crossing the state borders and coming to spend time in Minnesota.

It is very possible that Minnesota will allow sports betting at some point in the near future. It is surely a matter of time.

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