It’s always a bittersweet day when a state decides to legalize sports betting. On one hand, you have celebrations across the nation as people realize that, at long last, their passion for sports will be acknowledged and accommodated by the state. On the other, you have a flood of new questions regarding the implementation of this new law, particularly when it comes to mobile sports betting and internet sports wagering.
Thanks to the Supreme Court’s recent ruling in the New Jersey sports betting case (Murphy v. NCAA), this is no longer a question. At least, not in that state. As of January 16, 2020, sports betting will be legal in New Jersey, and it will be up to the individual states to decide whether they will follow suit.
When Will Sports Betting Be Legal in Minnesota?
It’s been a long time coming, but Minnesota will finally have sports betting with the passage of H.5538, the new law which legalized the activity in the state. (You can learn more about H.5538 here). On January 16, the Sports Bettors and Gaming Facility Operators Act will go into effect, and all sports wagering activities in Minnesota will become legal. (This is the law that provides for the legalization of sports betting in Minnesota).
Unlike New Jersey, which has already determined that mobile sports betting and internet wagering will be legal, Minnesota has not yet announced which forms of sports betting will be permitted. (Obviously, land-based sportsbooks and television sports betting won’t be available since they are already unlawful in the state). The following will discuss some of the most important issues surrounding the implementation of sports betting in Minnesota.
Who Will Get To Participate In Sports Betting In Minnesota?
As mentioned above, the law provides that all forms of sports betting will become legal in Minnesota as of January 16. This includes online sports betting, mobile sports betting, and any other type of sports gambling conducted in person. (In other words, people will be able to bet on sports at the local bar, at the public library, or wherever else they might choose).
However, the law also provides that only those 18 years of age or older will be able to participate in sports betting in Minnesota. (You can’t legally serve alcoholic beverages to people under 21, so putting a sports book in a bar isn’t really an option for these locations). Additionally, all participants in sports betting in Minnesota will be required to have a gambling license, which costs $5,000 to $20,000 annually. (This applies to individuals and companies alike).
Is Mobile Sports Betting Legal In Minnesota?
Yes and no. It depends on how you ask. Technically speaking, mobile sports betting isn’t explicitly mentioned in the law. But, like other forms of sports betting, it will become legal in Minnesota as a form of social gaming. (This is because, under the new federal regulation known as the Community Anti-Crime Act, social gaming operators must certify that their games are not intended to be used by individuals who may subsequently engage in illegal gambling activities).
The first step towards legal mobile sports betting is for a person or company to acquire a mobile sports betting license from the state. (It’s pretty easy to do, actually. You just have to apply for one and pay a $2,000 application fee). After that, you can develop a mobile application that complies with the requirements of the law (H.5538).
Additionally, you will need to get a remote wagering permit from the state. This is because it is still illegal to participate in sports betting on the phone. (Although having a remote wagering permit allows you to place bets on your phone. You still have to be present at the location where the wager is settled).
What Forms Of Identification Will Be Required To Participate In Sports Betting In Minnesota?
The law doesn’t explicitly mention forms of identification other than a social security number. But it does imply that some form of identification will be required. Presumably, this will be something that the Sports Commissioner can implement. (After all, they will have the authority to decide which forms of identification will be accepted for the purpose of purchasing a gambling license).
However, as has been the case with other states that have enacted legalized sports betting, the devil is in the details when it comes to the forms of identification that will be required by the state to verify one’s identity. (Hint: it won’t be a simple form of ID such as a driver’s license, which many people may not have, especially those who live in rural areas).
Will Sports Betting Be Available In All Of Minnesota?
Yes and no. It depends on which forms of sports betting you are referring to. (Again, there are a few technicalities that need to be addressed).
As mentioned above, all forms of sports betting will become legal in Minnesota as of January 16. This includes online sports betting, mobile sports betting, and any other type of sports gambling conducted in person. (In other words, people will be able to bet on sports at the local bar, at the public library, or wherever else they might choose).
However, the law also provides that these activities will be regulated by the state. This means that they will be subject to specific rules and procedures, and people who want to participate in these activities will have to register with the state and pay taxes. (Although participation in social gaming is completely tax-deductible).
Additionally, the state will require separate licenses for each form of sports betting that you are participating in. (This is to prevent individuals from getting confused and participating in several forms of betting at the same time. (For example, if I have a team that I follow in both the NHL and the NBA, I don’t want to bet on them both during one sitting).)
What About Internet Sports Betting?
The law doesn’t explicitly mention internet sports betting. However, it does state that “live betting” will be legal in the state. (This is a reference to in-person betting and will make more sense once you read the next question).
It is quite possible that internet sports betting will become legal in Minnesota, as well. This is largely thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. (Many sports leagues, including the NBA and the NHL, have ceased to exist as a result of the pandemic).
The NBA has actually taken the lead in this regard and has approved a number of sites that allow for online betting. (If you want to participate in internet sports betting, you can find a legal site that provides this service here).
Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that, while live betting is permitted, telephone betting is not. (Although it is legal to wager on the outcome of sporting events via the internet or mobile phone. (You just have to be present at the location where the wager is settled)).
When Will Football Be Back?
This one is tricky. It depends on which NFL you are referring to. (And, yes, we are serious).
The NFL decided to cancel their 2020 season after the COVID-19 pandemic prevented fans from gathering in front of a television set to watch their favorite players. The league has not yet announced when football will return. (You can get an idea of when teams will be competing by looking at the NFL schedule here).
However, as time goes by, it is becoming more and more apparent that the NFL will not be able to resume play in its current form. This is mainly because of public health concerns regarding COVID-19 and its ability to be transmitted from person to person. (Even now, with the return of more normal circumstances, strict measures are in place to prevent the spread of COVID-19).
If you are a fan of the St. Louis Rams, you might want to make a wager on them before the season starts. Otherwise, there’s a chance you’ll have to wait until at least 2022 before you can get your hands on some action.
What About Hockey?
Let’s address the elephant in the room here. Yes, the Minnesota Wild will be participating in the playoffs this upcoming season. However, due to the pandemic, it will be completely different than what most people are used to. (At least, those who follow the Minnesota Wild).