Minnesota Is Ready To Discuss Legalizing Sports Betting
As more and more states jump on the sports betting bandwagon, speculation about which states will be next to legalize sports wagering continues to ramp up. States like Kansas, Tennessee and Illinois have been discussed as introducing regulated sports betting in the near future. Now, add Minnesota to the list.
The State of Minnesota is preparing to debate legislation to legalize sports betting in 2019. The 2019 session of Congress in Minnesota begins on January 8, and Republican Senator Roger Chamberlain expects that there will be a bipartisan bill ready to be discussed.
Sports betting is not at the top of the list of priorities for legislators in Minnesota, but they are actively discussing a rough draft of a bill even prior to the start of the 2019 session. Chamberlain believes that there is popular support of legalized, regulated sports betting in Minnesota and said that “people have opinions and they’re investing in their opinions,” further stating, “that’s what sports betting is all about.”
Minnesotans can look to the success of New Jersey in 2018, which is what many states are doing as they think of ways to bring people to the table on the idea of legalized sports betting. Over $500 million had been wagered on sports in New Jersey since sports betting became legalized in June, through October.
Previously, Minnesota looked into a bill that would include a 1% tax on the handle — the total amount of money placed through sports wagers. That would present added risk to sports betting operators that are not guaranteed to turn a profit on a monthly basis. Alternatively, Minnesota could consider a higher tax rate on the hold — the amount of money that is actually earned as profit by sportsbooks.
Chamberlain at least seems wise enough to understand that the tax rate should not be so high so as to have sportsbooks pass on costs to the consumer, causing them to prefer to place wagers illegally whether it be through offshore entities or underground bookies.