Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman

  • Minnesota sports betting bills have run out of time with the legislative session ending this Monday.
  • A compromise between Minnesota’s horse tracks and sports betting is necessary for hopes of passage in 2024.

ST. PAUL, Minn.House Speaker Melissa Hortman deemed the legal Minnesota sports betting hopes dead. Minnesota sports betting bills need to pass through multiple house committees but will not have enough time to do so with the legislative session ending on Monday.

Speaker of the House Melissa Hortman told a reporter at Minnesota’s end of session discussion that sports betting won’t get done in this legislative session.

Sports betting has been on the backburner for Minnesota lawmakers, with bills failing to gain any progress towards legalization since March.

Both Senate and the House proposed legal sports betting bills were opposed by Minnesota tribes because of their expected negative impact on horse track revenue.

Companion sports betting bills HF 2000 and SF 1949 both would authorize legal sports betting in the Gopher State and give tribes exclusive regulation. The tribes believe that sports betting expansion will deplete essential revenue from horse racing and didn’t support either bill.

Senator Matt Klein revised SF 1949 to include a tax revenue share with the state’s horse tracks, but the gesture failed to receive any action from the Senate State and Local Government Committee.

Zack Stephenson’s HF 2000 passed in two house committees but didn’t gather enough support for passage due to the strong tribal opposition. For 2024, lawmakers will need to come to an agreement with the tribes before any sports betting bills pass in Minnesota.

Hortman Delivers Optimism Towards Minnesota Sports Betting

When asked if sports betting was dead this session, Hortman explained that its run out of time in this session but has enough support to be discussed next year.

She claimed that “If the Minnesota legislature was a football game, we’re like two minutes before the end of the first half. Then we’ll have an interim, we’ll go home, we’ll rest, we’ll recover, and we’ll work on a lot of these bills during the interim and we’ll come back and have a whole nother session. We believe staring around February 12 of 2024.”

Although unsuccessful in 2023, the Minnesota House Speaker’s comments provide optimism that legal Minnesota sports betting will have another chance in 2024.

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