As we progress through another season of fall sports, I think it’s due time to address a long-standing controversy in the sports world: Sports betting.
Whether you listen to, watch or attend a game, there is seemingly always somebody or something trying to get your interest to make a wager.
Whether it’s the endless TV’s spanning the walls of a sportsbook with numbers and lights moving in every direction or even your friend on the couch asking if you’d like to make a friendly wager, the potential of winning some extra cash always comes with some intrigue.
I even remember the first friendly wager I made with my grandfather as a kid.
A small $5 bet on the Patriots to beat the Giants in Super Bowl XLVI.
Even though I lost the bet, I can still feel the adrenaline that came with the wager.
Sports betting is in the U.S. is currently legal in 25 states, but not in Minnesota.
According to an ESPN study from 2018, when Congress adopted a bill to allow states to legalize sports betting, Minnesota was actually viewed as the 36th most likely state to legalize sports betting.
To understand why this is the case, it’s important to understand the complex relationship between local government and the gaming industry.
According to 500nations.com, there are currently 20 casinos in Minnesota, all on Native American lands, meaning the tribes have complete control over operations.
State government has had issues trying to pass legislation to legalize sports betting as a direct result.
Seems the tribes do not want the sports betting market to interfere with their already established casinos.
As a fan of placing wagers on professional and collegiate athletics, I favor allowing sports betting in Minnesota.
Minnesota’s state coffers would benefit from the move.
There is a chance the bill will be reintroduced at the state legislature this year, but that’s up to lawmakers.
If it does, I am hopeful that they will work things out with the tribal nations.
However, with gambling and most other aspects of life, it is important to be responsible.
If you or anyone you know is suffering from a gambling addiction, please call the Minnesota Department of Human Services gambling help hotline at (800)333-HOPE.