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RELEASE: Garofalo to Introduce Safe and Regulated Sports Gambling Act of 2019

Friday, February 15, 2019

St. Paul, MN – State Representatives Pat Garofalo (R-Farmington) and Nick Zerwas (R-Elk River) announced plans today to introduce the Safe and Regulated Sports Gambling Act of 2019. The legislation would ensure that Minnesotans have access to safe, legal, and transparent sports gambling operations in the state.

“For too long, Minnesotans wanting to place bets on sporting events have had to rely on an unregulated process,” said Rep. Garofalo. “This legislation brings the sports gambling industry out of the shadows and ensures that consumers have the proper protections in place that allow for a fair and transparent experience.”

“I look forward to working with stakeholders from across the aisle to build consensus on legislation that guarantees Minnesotans have access to a safe and regulated sports gambling experience,” said Rep. Zerwas. “This is the right thing to do to move the state forward and to protect consumers from the criminal enterprises that are so often associated with illegal sports gambling.”

Sports betting had effectively been banned in the United States since 1992 except for in a handful of states. In 2018, the United State Supreme Court in Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association overturned the federal prohibition on sports betting, leaving it up to the states to legalize and establish consumer protections.

The Safe and Regulated Sports Gambling Act of 2019 includes:

  • The lowest tax rate structure in the nation.
  • Maintaining Minnesota tradition and practice by allowing gambling only at established tribal casinos.
  • Keeping existing Indian gaming compacts and allowing tribal involvement in new sports gambling compacts to be voluntary, ensuring that tribal involvement will be exclusively dictated by the individual tribes.

Rep. Garofalo stressed his desire to work with stakeholders to ensure that the best legislation moves forward and is eventually enacted into law.

“Legalized sports gambling is not something that lawmakers should unilaterally enact,” said Garofalo. “I am committed to working with stakeholders to build consensus on a deal that works for everyone. Simply put, this cannot get done without everyone on board.”

Garofalo and Zerwas plan to introduce the bill within the week.