Minnesota Moves Closer Towards Legal Mobile Sports Betting

Minnesota is among the group of states moving forward on legalizing sports betting in 2022. Currently, 33 different states plus the District of Columbia offer legal sports betting in some form. That number could be closer to 40 by year’s end if everything goes according to plan.

Lawmakers in Minnesota look a step forward in March with the passage of HF778. The Minnesota House of Representatives Judiciary Committee approved the measure that would bring legal sports betting to the state.

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Main Provisions of HF778

Approval of HF778 at the committee level has raised optimism that the full House will also fall in line. The matter would also have to be taken up by Minnesota’s Senate. If some sort of agreement can be reached by state lawmakers overall, both retail and online sports betting would be legalized.

The main provision of HF778 keeps legal sports betting through the state’s existing network of Class III tribal casinos. These casinos would be able to partner with mobile sportsbook operators to expand legal betting online in Minnesota.

Using other states with both retail and mobile sports betting as a guide, the addition of mobile operators is a major step forward. The future of sports betting in the legal US market is heavily tied to revenue generated by online mobile betting apps. In most cases, well over 90% of legal sports bets are placed this way.

Retail sportsbooks have their place in the industry but mainly in tourist destinations. Most sports bettors have gravitated towards mobile betting apps for convenience and ease of use. Minnesota lawmakers favoring legal sportsbooks have embraced this concept in drafting the proper legislation.

Minnesota Representative Zach Stephenson summed up the situation as follows:

“This is an idea whose time has come. Having said that, it’s important to get this right. This is the biggest change to our state’s gambling laws in 40 years.”

Minnesota Sports Betting Sentiment

More and more states surrounding Minnesota have turned to legal sports betting as a significant means for generating added revenue. Legal mobile betting maximizes that potential in a much bigger way than retail sportsbooks can do on their own.

The lack of legal mobile betting will leave the door open for illegal means to place online sports bets. Offshore betting activity cuts directly into potential revenue for states without legal mobile betting capabilities.

One of the more progressive provisions of HF778 is setting the legal age for sports betting at 18. Most states have set the minimum age requirement at 21. This would actually give Minnesota an edge against legal neighboring markets in Iowa, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Citing the next steps, HF778 makes its way through the House Tax Committee on its way to full House approval. The state Senate will then have to address the matter as part of the 2022 legislative session.

Time remains a factor with this year’s session running through mid to late May. A positive outcome by all parties could set the stage for legal sports betting in Minnesota by the end of the year. The main target for launch would be ahead of the next NFL Super Bowl in February of 2023.

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