Minnesota Legislature

  • A Minnesota sports betting bill received more amendments in the Minnesota Senate Tax Committee on Thursday.
  • MN SF 1949 saw an increased tax rate from 10% to 20%, as well as uncapping the revenue earned by Minnesota racetracks.
  • The changes are a positive improvement but the Minnesota horse racing industry needs more money before passing any sports betting bills.

MINNEAPOLIS – The Minnesota Senate Tax Committee discussed a sports betting bill on Thursday, adding more amendments to improve revenue numbers. MN SF 1949 made headlines with a prior amendment to prohibit live betting, but Thursday’s changes greatly improve the chances for legal sports betting to come to Minnesota.

Senator Matt Klein’s sports betting bill received a tax rate increase from 10% to 20% for the state. The revenue disbursement is also changing, as members introduced an amendment to remove the controversial capping of funds for Minnesota’s horse racing industry.

Both Minnesota sports betting amendments were approved, but Senator Jeremy Miller voiced his concern that the bill still has a long way to go.

“This is a step in the right direction, but I feel we need to do more for our charities. I’ll also continue to advocate for more money and more flexibility for the horse racing tracks to help enhance the horse racing industry in the state of Minnesota,” said Miller in Thursday’s Taxes Committee meeting.

Despite Increased Tax, Sports Betting Revenue Estimates Fall

Doubling the state’s sports betting tax rate would increase their expected annual revenue, right? With their sports betting amendment to become the first state with prohibited in-game betting, annual tax revenue estimates decreased from $40 million down to just $18 million.

The massive decrease in estimated revenue makes the amendment to remove a cap on funds for racetracks irrelevant, since the pre-existing cap was set at $20 million in the first place. With so many conflicting amendments and revenue demands, it’s unlikely Minnesota passes any sports betting bill in 2024.

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