Attempts to Bring Sports Betting to Minnesota in 2024 Fail

The latest attempt in a years-long battle to bring online and retail sports betting to the North Star State saw the finish line on Sunday.

Brad Senkiw - News Editorat
Brad Senkiw • News Editor
May 20, 2024 • 13:28 ET • 4 min read
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Minnesota legislators came as close as ever, but they couldn’t quite get a deal done in time. 

The latest attempt in a years-long battle to bring online and retail sports betting to the North Star State saw the finish line on Sunday.

However, a chaotic and tumultuous legislative session turned into nothing for sports betting as the House of Representatives failed to vote on a joint bill with a historical horse racing ban in the final hours of the legislative session that ended at midnight. 

The bill was also omitted from several legislative measures rolled into a single tax bill.  

Meanwhile, the House passed a Senate bill that prohibits HHR on Sunday, but that measure didn’t include sports betting. 

Rep. Zack Stephenson (DFL-Coon Rapids), who authored and fought for HB5742, summed up the process and progress in a social media post late Sunday evening:

The future isn’t the present

Sports betting had a real chance in 2024. The stakeholders, including the tribes, horse racing tracks, charities, and professional teams, were reportedly on board with the framework. 

The bill called for 11 online sports betting licenses through partnerships with the North Star State’s tribal nations. There was a 20% tax rate for operators like FanDuel and DraftKings. 

Retail sportsbooks would’ve operated at tribal casinos and race tracks. Some fantasy contests would have been legalized as well.

Pari-mutuel wagering was not included in HF5274 because Stephenson believes it would hurt the existing and economically struggling tracks.

None of that will happen until at least next year’s legislative session.

What’s next?

HF5274 was on the House’s floor calendar last week but was tabled throughout the final days of the session. 

The Senate also had sports betting bills stall on that side of the legislature, and there was plenty of bipartisan support to bring wagering to Minnesota. 

Will their efforts in 2024 garner success in 2025?

That is a tricky proposition with this being an election year. Every seat in the House is up for grabs this cycle while the Senate, which seemed less enthused about sports betting, is set until 2026. 

It’s hard to predict what the DFL and Republican split will look like when legislators convene in 2025, but there is more hope than ever that sports betting is eventually coming to Minnesota.

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