Minnesota Sports Betting Bill Gets Another Chance

In Minnesota, state Rep. Phyllis Kahn (l.) again sponsored a measure legalizing sports betting in Minnesota. Kahn, who unsuccessfully proposed a similar bill in 2013, said, “To think we have a law opposing sports gambling or stopping it is terminally stupid."

Minnesota state Rep. Phyllis Kahn, who previously opposed the state’s first lottery law and expanded gambling, sponsored H.F. 765, a bill that would legalize sports betting in Minnesota. “To think we have a law opposing sports gambling or stopping it is terminally stupid. Anyone with an internet connection can make a bet. The odds are already published in the papers. It shows how silly it is to make it illegal,” she said, noting the state is “losing profitability” by outlawing sports betting.

Kahn first proposed legalizing sports betting in 2013 but the legislation failed. However, recently Kahn said, “Obviously, professional sports are moving forward. They’re not opposing it as much as before.”

Kahn’s colleague state Rep. Joe Hoppe supports H.F. 765. He said, “I think society’s changing. More and more people are looking at it and saying, ‘What’s the harm in it?’ and ‘Let’s capture some tax revenue.’”

Kahn noted bettors wager billions of dollars annually through offshore bookmakers on illegal sports betting in the U.S. She added tax revenue from lotteries, casinos and other legal gambling help Minnesota maintain a budget surplus.

Six other states have introduced legislation allowing legal sports betting.