Minnesota state Rep. Jeremy Miller met with the press yesterday to discuss his forthcoming legislation to bring sports betting to the state.
Miller has not officially introduced the bill yet, but went over the broad strokes of his proposal on Tuesday.
In his bill, each tribe would receive two online sports betting licenses. One would be for the use of the tribe, while the other would allow them to enter into a strategic partnership agreement with either a racetrack facility or a professional team in the state.
Racetracks and sports teams would be allowed to offer retail betting in Miller’s proposal. There would also be a special temporary retail sportsbook license for major sporting events taking place in the state, such as the Super Bowl or a PGA Tour stop.
Revenue from sports betting would be divided equally among these four categories:
- Tax relief for charitable gaming
- Grants for youth sports
- Mental health and problem gambling support
- To bring major sporting events to the state
The inclusion of sports facilities and racetracks could be a point of contention. Last year, a version of the bill that only allowed for tribes to take part in sports betting made it through the House but failed to get through the Senate.
During Miller’s Q&A period, he addressed the issue and reiterated that there is not enough support to pass a version of sports betting restricted only to tribes.
“If the Democrats want to support a highly partisan sports betting bill, they have the votes to do that. I don’t think there’s enough Democrat support to get it done,” Miller said. “I think a sports betting bill has to have bipartisan support. And the bill that I’m working on actually is modeled after the House version that passed the House last year with some of these changes that we talked about today.”
Given the need to partner with a tribe to offer mobile betting, Miller also argued that his bill is designed for the tribes, tracks, and teams to work together and all benefit.
Miller also noted that the bill is still in its very early phases and he has not spoken with many other lawmakers regarding their support.
Last year, it was a Democrat, Rep. Zack Stephenson, who spearheaded the tribal-only bill. When asked about Miller’s efforts, he told local media outlet KARE11 the following:
“Minnesotans deserve the opportunity to safely and legally wager on sports, just as the residents of over 30 other states are able to do,” he said. “I am hopeful that 2023 is the year we get the job done.”