Minnesota Sports Betting Bill in Check
Sports betting legislation in Minnesota is meeting fierce resistance from stakeholders
As the sports betting bill is being pushed in the state, many raised concerns about it and opinions are split at the moment. Some are referencing ‘problem gambling’ concerns while others emphasise their inherent bias towards tribal stakeholders.
Two proposals currently reside in the local House of Representatives and Senate chamber. The former is sponsored by a Democrat Rep. Zack Stephenson, the latter by Republican Sen. Roger Chamberlain.
Both proposals provide for in-person sportsbooks, however, Stephenson has incorporated a directive that would allow tribal groups to preside over issuing licences to mobile operators.
All of Minnesota’s state neighbours have now entered the sports wagering race, and even nearby Canada has joined recently. But the path ahead seems more complicated than previously thought.
Anne Krisnik, a spokesperson for the Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, shared her opinion: ‘We know that operators will do a great job of talking about the entertainment value of gambling, but we need to make sure that Minnesotans understand what’s at risk.
Krisnik believes that local stakeholders should be aware of the threats posed by the sector and any bill approval should be put on ice until this step is concluded.
On the other hand, Sam Krueger, the spokesperson for the Electrical Gaming Group, an organisation that supports local charities involved in the gambling industry, has attacked the bill from another angle.
Krueger suggests that the bill’s proclivity to offer more scope for tribal activity is unacceptable ahead of charitable gaming endeavours.
In a recent address to lawmakers, Kreuger explained that his group are against bills that allow their chief competitors, the tribes, to expand their operations outside of their existing jurisdictions without allowing charities a reasonable path to compete and grow going forward.
The hearings will proceed but as days go by, more and more questions are being raised about the bill. Stay tuned for more news.