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Minnesota introduces retail and online sports betting legislation


A bipartisan bill allowing for the regulation of sports wagering at racetracks and casinos, as well as online, has been introduced in the Minnesota State Senate.

Under the bill – Senate Bill 410, introduced by Karla Bingham and Jeremy Miller – bookmaker licenses will be issued valid for one year to applicants who comply with the forthcoming regulations. An application fee, license fee and renewal fee will apply, however the cost of each has not yet been specified.

Licensed bookmakers may then contract the owners of land-based casinos or racetracks to accept wagers on their behalf. The bookmaker will be responsible for any actions of officers or employees of the racetrack or casino which constitute a violation of the regulations.

According to the bill, wagers on sporting events may only be accepted from customers placing bets either in person at a casino operated under a tribal-state compact, in person at a licensed racetrack or, beginning twelve months after the commission issues a first bookmaker license, online through a website or mobile application, where the person placing the wager is physically located within the state.

Racetracks and casinos will require an affiliate license in order to accept wagers on behalf of a bookmaker. Affiliate licenses will also carry application, license and renewal fees, though the cost of these has not been specified.

Taxes will be imposed on sports wagering net revenue equal to 6% on wagers placed at a casino or racetrack, and 8% on wagers placed online through a website or mobile application.

The type of bet which bookmakers may be permitted to accept includes, but is not limited to, wagers on the winning outcome of sporting events, or wagers for a team or individual to win by a specified number of points.

Bookmakers may also be able to accept wagers on whether the total points scored in an event will be higher or lower than a specified number, and wagers on series of three or more sporting events may be approved.

The bill authorizes a Sports Wagering Commission to regulate wagering on sporting events, establish crimes related to sports betting, and tax the activity.

It sets out the exclusive means by which wagering on sporting events or on propositions involving sporting events may be lawfully conducted, aside from pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing which is already regulated in the state.

The Sports Wagering Commission to be formed will consist of nine members; the commissioner of public safety, the chair of the Racing Commission, five members appointed by the governor with the consent of the senate, two members who are representatives of a Minnesota reservation or tribal community, and a chair.

Members of the commission must have been resident in Minnesota for at least five years prior to appointment and must have a background and experience that qualifies them for membership.

The website or application must be hosted by a licensed bookmaker under a contract with a tribe that operates a casino under a tribal-state contract.

All sections of the bill will be effective the day following its final enactment.