- Minnesota State Lottery signed a contract extension with IGT, a deal that will run through 2026.
- In a partnership with William Hill U.S., IGT is the sports betting provider for the state of Rhode Island.
- Minnesota sports betting legislation came to a halt this year due to tribal opposition.
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Earlier this week, the Minnesota State Lottery and International Game Technology (IGT), agreed to extend their current contract to run through November of 2026.According to the IGT press release, the international gaming company will install and maintain 100 GameTouch 20 self-service lottery vending machines across the state of Minnesota in addition to its current operations. The lottery vending machines will be placed within big-box retailers.
“Generating more funds for the state and our important beneficiaries is our goal, and introducing modern lottery conveniences like IGT’s new self-service vending machines will help us to deliver on our mission and better-serve our retail partners and players alike,” said Adam Prock, executive director of the Minnesota State Lottery.
IGT And The US Sports Betting Market
IGT serves 39 of the 45 states that have a state-sanctioned lottery. To add to that, IGT is also the sports betting provider for the state of Rhode Island. IGT formed a partnership with William Hill U.S. in 2018 in an effort to capture the growing U.S. sports betting industry.
IGT also struck a similar lottery contract extension in Colorado last month. Colorado voters will have a chance to legalize sports betting this November when they see the issue their ballot. If all goes well, IGT could want to get a piece of the sports wagering action in that state. But what are the chances they do the same in Minnesota?
To put it lightly, it will be much more difficult for IGT to win a bid to provide sports betting in Minnesota. The Land of 10,000 Lakes has a strong tribal compact that gives the tribes much of the negotiating power when it comes to gaming expansion of any type.
Tribal Influence In Minnesota
During Minnesota’s 2019 legislative session, there was only one sports wagering bill introduced that had a chance of passing. That bill was MN HF 1278. The proposed legislation would have awarded the activity to be exclusively held within the tribe’s casinos.
However, any motion of that bill got stopped in its tracks after the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association sent a letter opposing any type of sports betting legislation. The letter was tweeted out by former MN State Rep. John Kriesel.
The tribes believed that studying other state’s with legal sports betting should be done first before trying to bring the practice to the Gopher State.
Minnesota’s next legislative session begins on February 11, 2020. By the time it begins there will be at least 12 states with active sportsbooks of some sort. Weather or not that will influence the MN tribes remains to be seen.
To add to that, IGT will have served Rhode Island’s sports betting needs for over a year and will have a track record to show what sports betting provided by the state lottery could contribute to the state. Legislation could be shaped in their favor, but MN residents will have to wait and see early next year.
– In his career, Hasan has worked both local and state government positions—including the Attorney General’s Office in Florida. On top of being familiar with the legislative process, he has also been researching and writing on the legality of sports betting across the US. Outside of work you’ll most likely find him producing or playing music, playing sports, or working on creative writing projects. You’ll also catch him at Doak Campbell Stadium cheering on the Noles.