Sports betting has proved to be a profitable industry many states have sought to legalize, among them Minnesota, although to no avail. But residents are willing to back regulation: according to data from a poll conducted recently, 48% of Minnesotans said betting on sports should be legal, while 33% said it should not be.
According to the poll, which was conducted by Star Tribune/MPR News/KARE 11 Minnesota, about 1 in 5 Minnesotans are still undecided on the issue. The poll surveyed 800 Minnesota likely voters from September 12-14 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
In the Minnesota Poll, men were more likely than women to support legalizing sports gambling. Other than the gender difference, there were no stark divides between political parties, age groups, or geographical areas.
53% of Democrats, 50% of Republicans, and 40% of independents favored legal sports betting. According to the poll, Minnesotans who voted for former President Donald Trump were more likely to back sports gambling than those who voted for President Joe Biden.
In the Twin Cities metro area, about half of respondents supported legalizing sports betting, while in northern Minnesota, 53% did. Southern Minnesotans offered the least support for the issue at 39%, with another 39% in the region opposing it and 22% undecided.
The issue garnered less support among Minnesotans ages 18-34 than it did older groups, the Star Tribune/MPR News/KARE 11 Minnesota poll further shows. Those 35-49 years old were most likely to support legalizing sports gambling.
Legalizing sports betting would represent a major expansion of for-profit gambling in the state. The DFL-controlled Minnesota House voted in May to legalize sports betting, but the proposal differed from the one in the GOP-controlled Senate and the two bodies were unable to reach an agreement before the session ended.
Under the House measure, which was crafted with input from the state's 11 tribal nations, Minnesotans would have been able to place bets at brick-and-mortar locations and online.
Commercial sports betting was largely prohibited under federal law until the U.S. Supreme Court ruled the ban unconstitutional in 2018. Sports betting is now legal in more than 30 states, including all of Minnesota's neighbors. Iowa in particular has become a popular sports betting destination for Minnesotans.