Minnesota Sports Betting in 2022? MIGA Reversal Opens Door
David Caraviello | 3 mins
After watching one of its Midwest neighbors after another embrace the sports betting movement, the pressure is building in Minnesota to keep pace – so much so that the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association now says it is willing to consider Minnesota sports betting under the right framework, this after years of opposing the idea.
This is a huge development in the North Star State, one that moves Minnesota up the list of states likely to legalize sports betting in 2022. The pressure on the North Star State ramped up considerably when two tribal casinos in neighboring Wisconsin approved legal sports betting, the most recent just across the state line in Danbury, Wis.
State lawmakers told Tom Hauser of KSTP-TV in St. Paul, Minn., that it was time for Minnesota to join in. “We no longer can be an island," state Sen. Karla Bigham told the TV station. "Thirty-three states and territories have legalized sports wagering. It is time for Minnesota to join that group."
Indian Gaming Group Changes Stance
Wisconsin is just the latest Midwest state to embrace sports betting. Iowa, North Dakota and South Dakota, which also border Minnesota, all have legal sports betting of some form. Michigan sports betting has been a huge success for the state, and Ohio’s governor is poised to sign a law that will bring Ohio sports betting sites to the state by Jan. 1, 2023.
As a result, the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association is reconsidering its long-held stand. The group had previous been opposed to any expansion of gambling in the state.
"The tribal governments making up MIGA have been examining the various ways sports betting has been implemented across the country and its impacts on tribal communities," association executive director Andy Platto told KSTP-TV in a statement. "As gaming experts, tribes stand ready to share this expertise with lawmakers considering the future of sports betting in Minnesota."
The Minnesota Legislature is out of session and does not reconvene until Jan. 31. Previous attempts to advance sports betting through legislation in the state have gained little traction. And this doesn’t mean that MIGA will support betting apps and online sportsbooks in the state; it might just want in-person betting. That remains to be seen.
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Wisconsin Betting Changes Landscape
But the landscape has changed now that sports betting has taken root in tribal casinos in neighboring Wisconsin. In July, the state amended its gaming compact with the Oneida Nation to allow sports betting, and the first legal bets were accepted Nov. 29 at the Oneida Casino in Green Bay. The St. Croix Chippewa Indians then also amended its compact, and will offer sports betting at their casinos, including the facility in Danbury.
The St. Croix Chippewa Indians tribe told Wisconsin Public Radio that it hopes to have its equipment for sports betting operational for Super Bowl betting on Feb. 13. And more is likely coming: the Potawatomi tribe, which operates a casino in Milwaukee, recently told the Green Bay Press-Gazette that it would seek to amend its gaming compact with the state to also allow sports betting.