Minnesota Tax Committee

  • Minnesota’s sports betting bill, HF 778, advanced through the House Tax Committee on Thursday and is headed to the House Ways and Means Committee.
  • The bill would regulate both retail and online sports betting in Minnesota; it has already passed through four separate committee votes.

ST. PAUL, Minn. – Minnesota’s sports betting bill – HF 778 – advanced through the House Taxes Committee Thursday, the fourth house committee the sports betting bill has advanced through.

HF 778 Advances Through House Taxes Committee

First introduced by Rep. Zack Stephenson, HF 778 would legalize and regulate both retail and online sportsbooks in Minnesota. Sportsbooks will be taxed at 10% of net revenue with 40% of Minnesota’s tax revenue from sports betting allocated to problem gambling treatment and responsible gaming initiatives.

HF 778 gives Minnesota’s tribal entities control over the sports betting market: tribal casinos will be permitted to partner with commercial operators to offer sportsbook apps throughout Minnesota.

During the hearing, Rep. Stephenson informed the House Taxes Committee that the primary goal of HF 778 was to reduce black-market sports betting in Minnesota.

“What this bill is about is creating a legal marketplace that will displace that black market, and in doing so, provide consumer protection, ensure the integrity of the game, and limit money laundering and other illegal activity,” said Stephenson during the hearing.

Stephenson went on to emphasize that each of Minnesota’s bordering states offer some sort of legal sports betting. Stephenson also said he worked directly with Minnesota’s native tribes as well as Minnesota’s universities, such as the University of Minnesota, to ensure the best possible market. Under the bill, wagering on in-state college teams and events would be permitted.

Opponents Cite Tax Disparity Between Sports Betting And Charitable Gaming

However, not everyone was on board with all aspects of the bill. One of the primary sticking points for opponents was charitable gaming.

In Minnesota, charitable gaming organizations are taxed at a 30% rate – considerably higher than the prescribed 10% sports betting tax rate included in the bill.

Bill Advances To House Ways And Means Committee

Despite the disagreement on the disparity between the tax rate on charitable gaming and sports betting, the bill passed through the Taxes Committee by a 13-5 vote. It now heads to the House Ways and Means Committee, where, if passed, it will finally reach the House floor for discussion and a potential vote.

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