Minnesota sports betting bill now has ban on in-game wagering

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The Minnesota sports betting vehicle SF1949 fended off a number of amendments vehicle during a Senate Commerce and Consumer Protections Committee, but one it could not avoid was an amendment that prohibits in-game wagering on all sports.

As Sports Betting Alliance President Jeremy Kudon noted in his committee testimony, the move effectively prohibits more than half of wagering at regulated sites in the U.S. Moreover, he predicts in-game wagering could compromise as much as 75% of bets by 2030.

Bill sponsor Sen. Matt Klein tried and failed to oppose the amendment, which was introduced by Sen. Jordan Rasmussen. The amendment also establishes a problem gambling hotline, requires the ability for consumers to set loss limits, sets forth studies on the impact of sports betting in the state and other problem gambling measures.

Rasmussen also tried and failed to introduce an amendment that would ban all college sports wagers.

Sen. Zach Duckworth proposed but later pulled an amendment that would modify electronic pull-tab charitable gaming in the state. Throughout the meeting, Duckworth made it clear that he would not support this bill if charitable gaming was not considered.

The most vocal critics of Klein’s legislation, which would allow for tribes to work with professional teams in the state to offer retail and online sports betting, were members of the state’s horse racing industry. Many spoke about how the industry is struggling and needs opportunities to revitalize, be it through sports betting or something else.

Former Executive Director of the Minnesota Gaming Commission Tom DiPasquale also raised constitutional concerns about the measure, citing the Florida sports betting Supreme Court challenge. The plaintiffs, West Flagler and Associates, are arguing that allowing tribes to have a monopoly on a form of gambling in the state could be a violation of the Equal Protection Clause.

Despite the objections, the amended bill did manage to advance out of committee and onto the Senate Taxes Committee. However, given the resistance from the horse industry and the amendment regarding live betting, the bill’s prospects are quickly dimming.