More changes stuffed into Minnesota sports betting bill

Overstuffed suitcase
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After a committee session where amendments to the bill included a ban on in-game wagering, the Minnesota sports betting vehicle SF1949 experienced even more changes during a Thursday meeting of the Senate Committee on Taxes, where it was advanced.

During a Senate Commerce and Consumer Protections Committee meeting last week, the bill was amended to include the in-game betting ban and survived attempted amendments that included a ban on college sports that fail.

It was a similar experience for the measure Thursday as the committee proposed several amendments, including one that doubled the tax rate from 10% to 20%.

That amendment managed to pass and included some other changes. One was a tiered level of tax deductions related to promotional credit which would eventually phase it out entirely by 2030. Another change uncapped the revenue from the bill that would go to racetracks, which was previously capped at $20 million.

Other amendments that were proposed and failed included a bidding system for a tax rate, similar to what New York did for sports betting, where bidders would need to offer at least a 40% tax rate to be considered. Bill sponsor Sen. Matt Klein cautioned that such a steep tax rate in a smaller state like Minnesota would turn off operators before the amendment was voted down.

Committee member Sen. Jeremy Miller, who has championed his own sports betting bill in the legislature, said he thought the bill wasn’t where it needs to be yet and advocated for racetracks and charitable gaming to benefit more from the measure. Even though he said he would support the bill, he added that, “we’re not quite there.”

The committee tour continues for the measure, which moves to the Senate Finance Committee next.