MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Minnesota sports fans may not have go to Las Vegas to place a bet on their favorite teams.
The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Monday that states should be allowed to sponsor sports gambling. The decision reversed a 1992 federal law that prohibited most states from sponsoring, or authorizing, betting on games.
The court said the law violated constitutional principles of states’ rights. Several professional sports leagues urged the justices to uphold the law, saying legal betting could hurt the integrity of their games.
But some Minnesota lawmakers say the state could come out a big winner.
As the Minnesota Twins prepare to face the Seattle Mariners Monday night at Target Field, Major League Baseball issued a statement, saying the Supreme Court decision will “have a profound effect on Major League Baseball” and that MLB “will continue to seek the proper protections for our sport,” — a statement that indicates just how big a deal this ruling is.
The game-changing ruling from the Supreme Court was hailed by Republican Rep. Pat Garofalo, who has long pushed for expanded sports gambling
“This is not a partisan issue. I’ve told people this is like Sunday liquor sales on cocaine. That is how excited people are,” Garofalo said.
Garafolo says he would like to see some type of state regulated sports gambling in place before the start of the NFL season
“That’s when things are really going to go bonkers,” Garofalo said.
But with one week left in an increasingly tense legislative session, Garofalo and others at the State Capitol said a bill legalizing sports gambling is unlikely to pass before the end of the session
“I don’t know the details so I can’t comment on that,” Governor Mark Dayton said.
At a news conference, Dayton says he would likely have an opinion on the issue by Tuesday, but he did indicate an openness to additional revenue legalized gambling could bring.
“I am for Minnesota getting a share of the profits from what is already going on,” Dayton said.
The American Gaming Association estimates $10 billion was wagered on the NCAA Tournament, and only three percent of that is legal. Constitutional law Professor David Schultz says the Supreme Court has thrown the door wide open and that it’s up to the state to figure out what it wants to do.
“It literally allows the state of Minnesota to do whatever it wants in terms of sport betting at this points,” Schultz said.
Now of course, gambling is currently legal at a number of Minnesota’s Native American Casinos. The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association issued a statement, saying “They have long opposed the expansion of gambling” in Minnesota and that they will study the potential impact of the ruling in coming months.