Minnesota Sports Betting Pushed To 2024 As Session’s End Nears

Written By Giovanni Shorter on May 19, 2023
Minnesota Sports Betting Likely Done

The Minnesota legislative session is coming to a close and sports betting will die on the session floor. Lawmakers were pushing legislation in both the Senate with SF 1949 and the House with HF 2000. While the latter managed to advance in the House, the former was not voted on.

Several issues delayed sports betting in Minnesota from seeing movement in the chambers. This includes issues with local horse racing tracks not being included in the legislation for sports betting sites. Ultimately, since lawmakers could not come to a consensus, sports betting fell by the wayside.

Sports Betting Hopes Done In Minnesota

During a press conference addressing several actions, lawmakers addressed the sports betting issue. Essentially, it appears that the legislation has run out of time to focus on sports betting. With the session deadline coming up on May 22, there is no time for sports betting legislation this year.

“I think we’re probably out of time,” said Melissa Hortman, Minnesota House Speaker. “In the House, it has two or three committees and we’re not going to be able to take people away from the floor to have that bill move through the committees that it would need to. I think that there’s a coalition of folks who are still really interested in making sure that that gets done. I just don’t think it will get done this session.”

The writing was on the wall that more time would be needed. Both sports betting bills in the House and Senate saw pushback from local racetracks as they would not be included in any sports betting market. In the Senate, lawmakers amended SF 1949 to grant 30% of total income from sports betting to racetracks. This did not sway Canterbury Park and Running Aces, however, who were still opposed to the measure.

“History has shown that this type of expansion of gambling will cause the loss of significant economic benefit to the Minnesota horse industry and the state of Minnesota,” said Randy Sampson, CEO of Canterbury Park. “Sports betting in other states has resulted in minimal decreases in slot revenue. However, wagering on horse races and table games as we have at our racetracks has seen a much larger negative impact.”

Will Sports Betting Pass Next Year?

Lawmakers will now have to set their sites for the 2024 legislative session. With the groundwork done in 2023, lawmakers could potentially have enough time to push sports betting legislation. However, the local racetracks are likely still set to oppose sports betting.

The 30% allocated by the amendments to SF 1949 would be capped at $20 million. Once that number is reached, the tracks would receive up to $3 million annually. A Horse Racing Economic Development Fund would receive the revenue sharing. The tracks, however, want more. Lawmakers must find a way to break this deadlock.

“We believe it’s in the best interests of the state for all the stakeholders to work together to make sports betting successful,” continued Sampson. “Putting a cap on the revenues to the horse racing industry does not provide the incentive needed for a collaborative approach.”

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Giovanni Shorter

Giovanni Shorter is a sports enthusiast and writer with a passion for the legal and industry side of the sports betting market. Giovanni got his education from Florida State University where he honed his writing style writing narratives and short stories. He has spent his professional career covering sports and entertainment through articles and blogs and continues to look at the industry from multiple angles.

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