Minnesota sports betting bill heads to Senate Floor for vote

A bill that would legalize sports betting in Minnesota is getting closer to reality. 

The Senate Finance Committee voted 5-4 on Thursday to advance a proposal that would expand sports betting to racetracks and mobile platforms, as well as allow people to bet on the Oscars and other arts awards programs. 

The measure now heads to the Senate Floor for a vote. But even if it passes, it's far different from the bill the House approved 70-57 last week, which allows wagering only at tribal casinos.

A conference committee would be required to work out differences, but there are only four days left in the session.

Sen. Roger Chamberlain, R-Lino Lakes, said in a news conference Thursday he is aiming to get the bill to a conference committee, but negotiations won't be successful if the House doesn't agree to include racetracks. 

Minnesota's Native American tribes opposed sports betting legalization until this year when they got on board with the House bill that gives them exclusivity over the market.

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Sports betting has been legalized in some form by 34 other states, including Iowa and Wisconsin.