Sports betting is legal in Minnesota. However, Native American groups in the Land of 10 million Lakers are steadfastly against sports betting. Even the state legislature has weighed in. In 1990, two bills were introduced in the Minnesota Legislature that would have legalized sports betting but were later voted down.
One of these proposed Bills was authored by Representative Ray Davidson. He was one of the sponsors and now the Governor. His reason for opposing the idea was based on the fact that it violated the rights of Indian Americans. According to him, the rights of Indian Americans are still very much protected. As such, he felt that it was not in the best interest of the state to legalize sports betting.
A separate bill was also introduced in the Minnesota House of Representatives by Representative David Easterberg. This time it was endorsed by Governor Mark Dayton. The main purpose of this Bill was to legalize sports betting at the state’s casinos. Though this bill passed the House, it failed to garner enough support to move forward in the Minnesota Senate.
In another attempt, a third bill was introduced in Minnesota by Representative John Kavanagh. He felt that there had been too many already passed in the Minnesota Legislature. Therefore, he felt that there was no point in introducing another one. This time it was Representative Tom Bakkala who brought up a resolution that recognized the objections raised by the various Indian, American tribal organizations. He also called for a study by the NCAA and MBL that would determine if there was indeed widespread discrimination of minorities in sports betting.
The Minneapolis Star Herald reported that Bakkala was optimistic about the potential legalization of sports betting at the upcoming 2021 Minnesota State Fair. He told the newspaper, “The big-time wagering institutions don’t like change, especially if it means they have to change themselves.” The governor seemed to agree with this sentiment. He told reporters, “I do expect an NCAA committee to take up the matter and report back with their findings in November or December.”
Though supporters of legalized sports betting are watching this proposed legislation very intently, there are some who are not very supportive. Minneapolis Criminal Court Judge Peter Skaer made this point when he stated, “That sports gambling has been legalized here is obviously a huge victory for the sports gambling industry but it is also a huge win for organized crime.” legalized sports betting will surely face opposition from organized crime in Minnesota, but so far most law officials and law enforcement officials have remained supportive of the bill. The sports book in Minnesota also welcomes legalized sports betting because of the potential tax income that will be generated for the state.
Minnesota sports books will be happy to see legalized sports betting come into place because of the additional revenue it will generate. However, there may be some politicians and law enforcement officials that will oppose this legislation. In reviewing the opponents’ arguments, they usually point out the risks to youth betting and the possibility of violence taking place at sports games when bettors cannot protect their bets. Some argue that those who can’t afford to place sports bets at sportsbooks may take matters into their own hands by betting illegally or taking money from the bookie and then getting cheated on the result of the bet. To these individuals, the legalized sports betting will only encourage corruption and lawlessness. On the other side of the argument, they say that it will eliminate the illegal betting while ensuring that everyone follows the law regarding placing bets.
Some sports betting advocates in Minnesota and around the nation feel that the 2021 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles will bring more people to place sports bets. They also believe that the increased wagering will boost interest in college basketball and volleyball, two of the major sport events in Minnesota. If these claims are true, the impact to the Minnesota economy could be significant. Many economists agree that the impact on the gaming industry is indirect and somewhat neutral, since the majority of people who play in a casino or online are also wagering heavily on games of chance. So, either way the economic stimulus package in Minnesota should be considered before jumping on the Betting Booths and Slots bandwagon.