Many states’ gambling facilities experienced significant financial losses due to the coronavirus pandemic. For many of them, the most successful measure to compensate for the decrease of revenue, is the legalization of sports betting.
This week, two of Minnesota’s lawmakers will introduce a bill that aims to legalize sports betting in the state that is currently legal in most states, including Iowa and South Dakota.
According to Republican Rep. Patrick Garafalo, who along with Democratic Sen. Karla Bigham, are the two people sponsoring the bill, 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 organized crime that might be taking place with that money,” Garofalo said.
Motivation for the Bill
In Garafalo’s words, the revenue is one of the biggest motivators for the bill, but not the only one. According to him, sports gambling could bring the estimated amount of $40 to $50 billion a year for the state.
He said: “Americans like to bet, Americans like sports. You combine them together, it’s a natural activity.”
Football fans are supporting the bill. They expressed it in one of the popular sports bars in Minnesota, Mac’s Industrial Sports Bar. One of the fans, Sawyer Merry of Minneapolis 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, Terrance Lynch of Champlin admitted that he loves betting on games and he is keen on the idea of legalization of sports betting in Minnesota. He even said that sometimes he goes to other states to place a bet and added: “Everywhere you go, more people are doing it,”
Although the fan’s support is strong, Garafalo is not optimistic that the bill will pass. He said that the Minnesota’s government is acting a lot slower than other states’ lawmakers.
Garafalo is talking about states like Michigan that launched its online gaming and sports betting last week. Although the legalization process was slow and took a year, it is finally a fact.
According to some sports supporters, illegal sports betting in US is worth billions. If it is legalized, the profit will benefit any state’s financial situation.
Lawmakers in Georgia obviously realized it since they announced making an attempt to legalize sports betting in the state. Some of the future earning will go straight to HOPE charity institution scholars.
In order for the state of Minnesota to follow the leads of Michigan and Geоrgia and the bill to pass successfully, Garafalo urges everyone supporting legal sports betting to call their elected officials.
Source: “Sports Betting Bill To Be Introduces This Week At Minnesota Capitol”, CBS Minnesota, January 24, 2021