Tribal MN sports betting bill making progress in the House

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“No Minnesotan should have to go to Iowa to have fun.”

That was one of many reasons given by Rep. Zack Stephenson during a second House committee hearing on bringing sports betting to the state of Minnesota. Stephenson’s legislation, HF2000, which has the backing of the state tribes and sports teams, advanced out of committee Thursday morning and will move to the House Public Safety Finance and Policy

DraftKings Government Affairs Manager David Pressman was on hand to testify in support of the bill.

“We support a sports wagering framework in Minnesota that protects consumers generates revenue for the state and stamps out the pervasive illegal market,” he said. Notably, Pressman did not mention working with the tribes during his testimony.

During the Q&A from other legislators, Stephenson also clarified that the scope of the bill would only be on sporting events and would not include things like betting on elections.

Meanwhile, a competing bill from Sen. Jeremy Miller, SF2425, was introduced on Thursday and referred to the Senate State and Local Government and Veterans Committee. Miller’s bill differs from Stephenson’s in that it would include teams and racetracks on the list of groups able to get a sports betting license.

Should Stephenson’s bill pass, it would institute one of the most far-reaching problem gambling initiatives in the US, with 40% of tax revenues going to RG programs.