Minnesota to consider remote sports betting bill

4 March 2019

Minnesota’s Senate Tax Committee will this week discuss a new bill that would legalise online, mobile and in-person sports wagering in the US state.

Sponsored by a cross-party group of senators, bill SF1984 would establish the Minnesota Sports Wagering Commission to regulate the market.

Consumers would be able to place bets on professional and collegiate sporting events, but wagering on virtual events would not be permitted in the state. Any person over the age of 18 would be able to place legal wagers.

The new Commission would take responsibility for awarding licences, with operators to be taxed on 6.75% on their sports wagering net revenue.

However, the bill did not state how much the sports betting licences would cost under the new regulations. Language in the bill refers to a fee, but, at present, it does not include an exact figure.

Licences would permit operators to conduct sports betting at racetracks and on tribal land, as well as via a website or mobile application. The bill also allows for operators to enter into third-party agreements to offer such services.

The bill does not clarify whether consumers would need to be located at a licensed facility in order to place a mobile or online wager, or whether this would be possible from anywhere inside Minnesota.

The Minnesota Senate Tax Committee is due to debate SF1984 at a hearing on March 7. Should it progress into law, the bill would become effective from September 1, 2020.

Last month, Representative Pat Garofalo put forward a bill that would legalise sports betting at tribal casinos in the state. As is the case with SF1984, Garofalo’s Safe and Regulated Sports Gambling Act of 2019 would create the Minnesota Sports Wagering Commission to regulate the market.

The bill would permit in-person sports wagering at casinos runs by recognised tribes in Minnesota, while consumers would also be able to place bets via mobile and other electronic devices on-site. The bill requires any mobile app to block access to consumers if they are more than 20ft away from a tribal property.

Image: Tony Webster