Minnesota: Canterbury Bury Park Takes Lead to Legalize Sports Betting 

Minnesota: Canterbury Bury Park Takes Lead to Legalize Sports Betting 

Minnesota Sports Betting

After sitting on the sidelines for the past decade, Canterbury Park is ready to make some noise in the campaign to legalize and regulate sports betting in Minnesota.

After a 10-year partnership with the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community came to an end, the horse racetrack and cardroom are back to trying to get a law legalizing sports betting in the state passed.

Randy Sampson, who is the CEO of Canterbury Park, has talked with PlayUSA about the possibility that the casino will join the talks about sports betting in the state of Minnesota in 2023.

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Minnesota’s Major Stakeholders Team Up

After trying to get racinos built in Minnesota for 15 years, Canterbury Park and the biggest Indian casino in the state finally came to an agreement on how to market themselves in 2012.

In essence, Canterbury Park made a deal to support the Mystic Lake Indian Casino in exchange for opposition to the growth of racinos or any other type of gambling in the state of Minnesota. In exchange, the tribe increased the amount of money that would be paid out to race winners at Canterbury Park by donating $84 million over the course of ten years.

Sampson gave the impression that Canterbury Park still had the opportunity to continue its contract with Mystic Lake. On the other hand, he said that one of the main reasons Canterbury Park has not asked for an extension is to take part in the debates about sports betting.

Comprehensive Sports Betting Measure

Sen. Jeremy Miller announced earlier this week that he would be filing a sports betting measure that would allow tribes, tracks, and professional sports clubs to participate in retail sports betting in the state of Minnesota. Tribes are given online licenses, which they can then use to work with sports teams or racetracks.

Because Miller is a member of the minority party (the Republican Party), his proposal to legalize sports betting in Minnesota will not pass. The Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party, which holds a majority in the Senate, has delegated responsibility for regulating sports betting to Senator Matt Klein. Rep. Zack Stephenson is collaborating with various Native American tribes in order to draft a House bill.

Sampson does value the fact that Miller’s measure is welcoming to a diverse range of perspectives. In general, the Senate has been in favor of integrating racetracks into sports betting, but the House voted to enact a bill with tribal exclusivity just the previous year.

The previous year, the only entities that were being considered for sports betting licenses were tribes and racetracks. This year, sports teams in the state of Minnesota are advocating for direct involvement. Sampson doesn’t object.

In 2017, Minnesota came dangerously close to approving wagering on sporting events. Running Aces, the other track in Minnesota, was able to come to an agreement with eight of the ten members of the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association.

This deal would have granted tribes exclusive rights to operate betting operations on sporting events. In exchange, tracks would be allowed to add table games such as craps and roulette to their offerings. However, this was not acceptable to former Senator Roger Chamberlain, who advocated for a marketplace for sports betting that was more open to participation and competition.

Sampson stated that he was unaware of those discussions until it was made public that they were taking place. He said that he would need more information before he could say what Canterbury Park’s position would be if a similar plan came up this year.

Slow Progress for Sports Betting Legalization 

Despite the fact that the state of Minnesota came so close to legalizing sports betting in 2018, there has been no progress made in this direction for 2023. The planned solution from the previous year is no longer an option, and the push from sports teams makes the situation more complicated.

After one month of the legislative session in Minnesota, lawmakers have not yet introduced a bill to legalize or regulate sports betting. However, this is more of an unintended consequence brought about by the Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party’s successful takeover of the Senate in November last year.

In prior years, the legislative deadlock was the result of a split between the House of Representatives, which was controlled by the Democrats, and the Senate, which was controlled by the Republicans. Now that the Democratic party is in charge of the House of Representatives, the Senate, and the governor’s office, it is working to pass laws that it couldn’t pass before.

Sampson maintains his conviction that a push for legalizing sports betting in Minnesota might occur later in the legislative session after lawmakers have completed their primary responsibilities. The end of the current legislative session in Minnesota is scheduled for May 22. Aside from that, he is certain that the state of Minnesota would legalize sports betting by the year 2024.

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About Lou De Aguila

Lou Aguila is a news and feature writer for Golden Casino News. For over a decade, Lou has published news and featured articles for some of the most reputable sports betting and online casino sites in the world, including BetNow.UK, VegasOdds, and BWin. Apart from being a hardcore live casino punter, he also covers sports stories in North American leagues from time to time.