Legislature considers multiple gambling proposals

17 March 2015

The Minnesota Legislature is considering no less than fifteen separate proposals that would enact changes in Minnesota lottery and charitable gambling, and authorize new gambling forms and venues in the state.

Several House bills now in committee would prohibit the Minnesota Lottery from expanding sales of certain lottery tickets online and at gas pumps or ATMs. Governor Dayton vetoed a similar measure at the end of the 2014 session. Another proposal, House File 1371, would dedicate state lottery net proceeds to local roads and bridges. House File 123 would require the lottery to include warnings about the odds of winning in its advertising and promotional materials.

Other measures under discussion would modify taxation and regulation of the state’s charitable gambling pulltab programs, legalize betting on professional and collegiate sports, authorize the lottery to operate slot machines at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport, change and clarify horse racing regulations, and add tournaments and contests of whist, a card game similar to bridge, to the list of permitted social skill games.

The majority of the gambling proposals are being heard by the State Government Finance Committee and the Commerce and Regulatory Reform Committee. The bill proposing to dedicate lottery proceeds to local roads and bridges is before the Transportation Policy and Finance Committee.