New Minnesota sports betting bill supported by both teams and tribes

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A new sports betting bill in Minnesota broke new ground in obtaining the support of both state tribes and state sports leagues. The new bills from Rep. Zack Stephenson and Sen. Matt Klein, HF2000 and SF1949, would authorize online sports betting through the state’s tribes.

The bill would license up to 11 sports betting licenses to the following tribes:

  • The Fond du Lac Band
  • The Grand Portage Band
  • The Mille Lacs Band
  • The White Earth Band
  • The Bois Forte Band
  • The Leech Lake Band
  • The Red Lake Nation
  • The Upper Sioux Community
  • The Lower Sioux Indian Community
  • The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community
  • The Prairie Island Indian Community

Licensing fees would be a relatively low $2,125, renewable each year, but platform providers would pay $6,000 up front and then pay a $38,250 fee for a three-year license. The tax rate would be 10%.

Platform providers, which could be existing operators in other states, are allowed to contract with tribes, but each tribe is only allowed to work with a single platform provider. Moreover, these providers cannot be front and center as the brand of the sportsbook.

From the bill:

“A mobile sports betting platform provider that has​ contracted with a mobile sports betting operator must clearly display a brand of the mobile​ sports betting operator within its mobile application.”

States like Pennsylvania had previously tried to legislate and regulate a similar effort, but ultimately it was never really enforced.

In an open letter to Stephenson from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA) posted by local Fox 9 reporter Seth Kaplan, the group applauded the effort:

“Were your bill to become law, MIGA Tribes believe the resulting mobile and retail markets operated by Minnesota’s Tribal Nations would not only support Tribes, but would also provide a well-regulated and accessible market for the state’s sports bettors and a competitive market that is important to our state’s professional sports teams and marketing partners.”

Klein also posted a letter from the professional teams in Minnesota indicating their support for the legislation. The letter announced an agreement with MIGA in addition to their support.

“As you know, the Tribes and Teams have worked together for many months to find alignment on a bill that will create a vibrant market while providing for consumer protections. We greatly value our tribal partnerships, our opportunity to work with MIGA, and greatly respect Minnesota’s tribal nations.”

Stephenson is Chairman of the Commerce Finance and Policy committee, where the bill currently sits in the House. Rep. Jeremy Miller had previously said he planned to introduce a bill that would allow the teams and racetracks to offer sports betting alongside the tribes. That bill, which does not have the backing of the teams, has yet to be introduced to the legislature.