An organization representing the interests of Minnesota’s tribal casino industry has reportedly written to the state’s new Governor, Tim Walz (pictured), urging him not to support legislation that could bring sportsbetting to ‘The North Star State.’
According to a December 17th report from the online newspaper at MinnPost.com, the short letter from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association detailed that its eleven members do not want to offer sports wagering services their casinos and will continue to resist ‘the expansion of off-reservation gambling including the legalization of sportsbetting.’
Serving the ‘public interest’:
The virtual newspaper reported that the group’s correspondence was authored by Charles Vig, Chairman for the federally-recognized, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, and was additionally sent to the Democratic and Republican leaders of the Minnesota State Senate and the Minnesota House of Representatives.
According to the letter from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association…
“While there is a desire by some to consider this matter during the present session, it seems that the public interest would be best served first by careful study of sportsbetting’s implications in this state, examination of other states’ experiences where sportsbetting has been legalized and thorough consultation with the large number of stakeholders interested in it.”
In the works legislation:
MinnPost.com reported that the letter is set to come as a blow to the numerous local lawmakers that were hoping to add Minnesota to the growing list of states that have legalized sportsbetting in the wake of May’s invalidation by the United States Supreme Court of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). One of these, Minnesota State Senator, Roger Chamberlain, is thought to be in the process of crafting just such a measure and the Republican purportedly told the newspaper that he remains optimistic despite the new opposition.
Chamberlain to MinnPost.com…
“There’s no reason to shut out the rest of the state and the rest of the potential consumers and players and operators from taking part in a perfectly safe and legal business. We hope to get to a place where everyone can agree and I think we can.”
The source further reported that the move from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association means that it has now followed traditional foes such as the local anti-casino Citizens Against Gambling Expansion group in voicing its opposition to the legalization of sportsbetting. Although the state’s tribes have no official veto concerning non-aboriginal gaming matters, the newspaper explained that they are influential and their resistance could help to scupper measures such as the one allegedly being prepared by Chamberlain.