New Sports Betting Bill in Minnesota Puts Tribes in Control of New Industry


A new house bill that sets to give the Minnesota Tribes control over sports betting in the state will get its first hearing on Tuesday.

According to its sponsor, Rep. Zach Stephenson of Coon Rapids, he has met with the leaders of the state’s 11 tribes in the previous months to develop a “Minnesota-specific” model which the tribes will finally support. The bill will need to get past at least six committees in the House and pass the Senate before it can proceed.

Said Stephenson in a press conference:

“If this bill passes, Minnesotans will be able to visit sports betting lounges in casinos all across Minnesota, and they’ll also be able to wager on sports from their own mobile phones anywhere in the state.”

State Gets 10% Share of Online Sports Betting Profits

Under Stephenson’s bill, the Tribes would get to keep all the profits from sports betting activities in their casinos and would take around 5% of the total amount wagered using mobile devices. The casinos would be allowed to partner with existing mobile sports betting companies like FanDuel, DraftKings, at BetMGM.

The State would get only a 10% share from the online sports betting net profits which is estimated to be $20 million per annum. 40% of the government’s take would go to youth sports, especially in communities where there is a high level of juvenile crimes. Another 40% would be allocated for programs to combat gambling addiction, while the remaining 20% will be for regulating the sports betting industry to protect its customers.

Minnesota Indian Gaming Association Support

In a statement, the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association expressed support for Stephenson’s bill. According to the group that represents 10 of Minnesota’s 11 Tribes, their members support the state’s efforts to legalize sports betting at tribal casinos and through online wagering and believe that they are best positioned to offer this new market to the state’s consumers. They added that they will be monitoring the legislation and look forward to working with the other stakeholders.

The Tribes have long opposed legal sports betting as they argue that it would affect their casino revenues which they mainly depend on their budgets. But with Stephenson’s bill giving them control over the new industry, they are expected to drop their longstanding resistance and finally give their support to the legalization of sports betting in Minnesota.