Minnesota tribes, pro teams support sports betting legislation

Tuesday the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, and the state's professional sports teams signaled their support for online sports gambling in Minnesota.

Rep. Zack Stephenson sponsored the bill that includes so-called tribal exclusivity, meaning that tribes would get the only licenses to put sportsbooks in their casinos and to partner with mobile app vendors.

"Minnesotans have been waiting a long time for the opportunity to engage in fair sports betting," Rep. Stephenson said in a statement. "House DFLers have continued to listen to and consult with the 11 sovereign tribal nations and other stakeholders over the last few years to ensure the best outcome for Minnesotans. Our bill is a step in the right direction to ensure consumer protection while engaging in sports betting. "

MIGA released a statement that read in part:

"Were your bill to become law, MIGA Tribes believe the resulting mobile and retail markets operated by Minnesota’s Tribal Nations would not only support Tribes, but would also provide a well-regulated and accessible market for the state’s sportsbettors and a competitive market that is important to our state’s professional sports teams and market partners." 

Additionally, the state's sports teams issued a joint statement in support of the legislation.  

"We are happy to report that the state’s professional sports teams, including the Loons, Timberwolves/Lynx, Twins, Wild, and Vikings have come to an agreement with the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association in support of the draft sports betting bill that you have authored and intend to introduce to the House of Representatives during the current session," the statement read in part.