Because of the coronavirus pandemic, several states’ gaming facilities suffered major financial losses. For several of them, legalising sports betting is the most promising measure to compensate for the drop in income.
This week, a bill aimed at legalising sports betting in the state that is currently legal in most states, including Iowa and South Dakota, will be introduced by two Minnesota lawmakers.
Much needed revenue
According to Republican Rep. Patrick Garafalo, who is sponsoring the bill along with Democratic Sen. Karla Bigham, if South Dakota can do it, so can Minnesota.
Garafalo added: “Allow consumers to have a safe experience, have good consumer protections, and at the same time defunding some organised crime that might be taking place with that money.”
In the words of Garafalo, revenue is one of the bill’s main motivators, but not the only one. Sports gambling, according to him, could offer the state an estimated $40 to $50 billion a year.
He said: “Americans like to bet, Americans like sports. You combine them together, it’s a natural activity.”
The bill is being embraced by football fans. They expressed it in one of Minnesota’s famous sports bars, Mac’s Industrial Sports Bar. Sawyer Merry of Minneapolis, one of the fans, stated: “Sometimes I go to the casino and bet on cards, so what’s the difference between betting on cards and betting on players?”
Another one, Champlin’s Terrance Lynch admitted he loves to bet on games and he is keen on the possibility of legalising Minnesota sports betting. He also said that often he goes to other states to put a bet, adding: “Everywhere you go, more people are doing it.”
Minnesota Govt slow on the uptake
Garafalo is not hopeful that the bill will pass, although the fan’s support is high. He said the Minnesota government is behaving much slower than legislators in other states.
Garafalo speaks of states such as Michigan, which last week introduced its online gaming and sports betting. Although the process of legalisation was slow and took a year, it is finally a reality.
Illegal sports betting in the US is worth billions, according to some sports supporters. The profit would help the financial condition of every state if it is legalised.
Scholars of the HOPE charity
Obviously, lawmakers in Georgia knew this because they announced an effort to legalise sports betting in the state. Any of the potential profits will go directly to scholars of the HOPE charity organisation.
Garafalo encourages anyone who supports legal sports betting to contact their elected officials in order for the state of Minnesota to follow the example of Michigan and Georgia and to pass the bill successfully.