Published: February 15, 2023

Lawmaker behind "Minnesota Sports Betting Act" touts millions in annual revenue projected for state

ST. PAUL, Minn. – The NFL season wrapped up Sunday, and that meant some Minnesotans were winners and others were losers.

The American Gambling Association estimates $16 billion was wagered on the Super Bowl by more than 50 million people.

Minnesota lawmakers are trying to cash in on some of that action. Republican State Sen. Jeremy Miller says the draft of his Minnesota Sports Betting Act will be finalized this week.

"Thirty-six other states and Washington D.C. have now legalized sports betting," Miller said. "Minnesota's fallen behind these other states."

Minnesotans wanting to bet can cross the border into Iowa to do so. Miller's proposal would allow for sports betting at Minnesota casinos, racetracks, pro sports venues and on cellphones.

"The last projection that I've seen shows that Minnesota could generate as much as $30 million per year by legalizing sports betting," he said.

Opponents of legalization argue that poorer people are at a higher risk for gambling addiction.

According to the Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling, 250,000 Minnesotans have problems with gambling.

There's a second, narrower bill being introduced in the Minnesota House to legalize sports gambling that would allow the tribes to have more control.

Both bills call for some of the money raised to go toward problem gambling resources.

© Public Gaming Research Institute. All rights reserved.