Lawmakers make push to legalize sports betting

(ABC 6 News) – With more than half of the states in the U.S. that legalized sports betting, Minnesota is trying to get into the mix. Now a bill being drafted could make that possibility a reality.

Republican Senator Jeremy Miller is planning to introduce the Minnesota Sports Betting Act.

After failing to make it past the Senate last year, he has high hopes that this bill will finally break through.

“We’re trying to give access to as many Minnesotans who want to bet on sports.”

Past drafts stated that the state’s indigenous tribes would have exclusive rights to offer sports betting at their casinos, but Senator Miller believes lawmakers want more entities involved.

“I don’t think that there’s enough support in the legislature for tribal exclusive sports betting and that’s why I’m working on the Minnesota Sports Betting Act to bring all the stakeholders together.”

The new draft would allow Minnesota’s casinos, horse tracks, and professional sports arenas to offer sports betting.

This would bring in more money for the state.

Miller says the money will be divided equally for things like tax relief for charities, support for mental health and gambling addictions, major sporting events, and grants to support youth sports.

The idea of sports betting may have some Minnesotans excited, and others may not be too optimistic about it.

Even so, this bipartisan bill would affect anyone who wishes to participate.

Ian Stauffer is excited about the idea of sports betting in Minnesota.

“It’ll be a fun opportunity to place bets here in Minnesota on games I’m interested in.”

The Minnesota Sports Betting Act is still in its early stages and is currently being looked over by the Minnesota Revisor’s Office. Senator Miller hopes to introduce the bill next week.