- Minnesota Rep. Zack Stephenson announced during a press conference on Thursday that he plans to lead an effort to legalize sports betting during the 2022 legislative session.
- Minnesota has introduced several sports betting bills since the fall of PASPA, though none have even made it to a vote before dying.
SAINT PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota sports bettors have hope for a legalized and regulated sports betting industry in the state, as Rep. Zack Stephenson announced during a press conference on Thursday that he plans to lead an effort to legalize sports betting in Minnesota by introducing legislation in 2022.
Since PASPA was overturned by the Supreme Court in 2018, Minnesota has introduced several pieces of legislation to create a legal sports betting industry; however, only one of those bills got a hearing, and none have even made it to a floor vote.
Each bordering states (North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Illinois, and Michigan) have legalized sports betting in some capacity.
“I have heard from Minnesotans across the state who are interested in having the same opportunities that our neighbors have,” Stephenson said at the press conference. “This will be the most significant change to Minnesota’s gaming laws in many years.”
The primary reason legal Minnesota sports betting has not happened has been vocal opposition from the state’s native tribes, with the Minnesota Indian Gaming Commission telling the Star Tribune last month that the organization “continues to oppose the expansion of off-reservation gambling, including the legalization of sports betting.”
However, the MIGA may have changed their tune.
“The tribal governments making up MIGA have been examining the various ways sports betting has been implemented across the country and its impacts on tribal communities. As gaming experts, tribes stand ready to share this expertise with lawmakers considering the future of sports betting in Minnesota.” MIGA told Bring Me The News Thursday, by far the most pro-legalization comment made by the organization in recent memory.
Stephenson has not yet drafted a bill nor has he released details on the contents of the potential bill, though he has said that the issue has bipartisan support and that he is confident that the legislation can pass by the end of 2022.
He says he plans to consult tribal leaders, legislators, stakeholders, and constituents to develop the legislation prior to the start of the 2022 legislative session on January 31, and to introduce the bill early in the session.
Jerad has been a welcomed addition to the LegalSportsBetting.com writing team. Covering topics regarding the expansion of sports betting in the US, Jerad focuses on legislative efforts, bill signings and other methods for sports betting legalization. Finishing his education as a college baseball player, Jerad has first-hand knowledge of competitive sports, paired with years of personal sports betting as well. As a political science major at the University of Central Florida, Jerad covers the political, legal, and legislative aspects of sports gambling without any issues.