The latest data shows that due to the lack of legal sports betting options in Minnesota, residents are heading to Iowa to place bets. During the NFL season and March Madness combined, GeoComply, a geolocation security and compliance firm, blocked nearly 1 million bets from Minnesotans attempting to access sportsbooks in other markets, predominantly in Iowa.
Furthermore, many residents are physically traveling to Iowa to place legal sports wagers. Although neighboring states have legalized sports betting, Minnesota does not permit it. This has made Iowa a hotspot for Minnesotans looking to gamble, especially since Iowa is the only neighboring state with mobile gambling.
GeoComply’s data shows that thousands of Minnesotans are setting up sports betting accounts in Iowa and then subsequently attempting to place wagers after crossing back over state lines. Additionally, thousands of sportsbook usernames have been geolocated in Minnesota and then in Iowa shortly thereafter, indicating a strong appetite for sports betting legalization in Minnesota. However, sports wagering proposals have failed to pass legislation in the past, including in 2022, when the state’s sports wagering proposal failed in the Senate.
Although the issue has lost steam, an amendment has been brought forward to increase the proposal’s odds of passage. Under the plan, the state’s horse racing industry would receive a portion of the sports betting revenue. Despite strong demand for legal sports betting in Minnesota, the odds of a sports betting law passing remain unclear, as tribes, pro sports teams, and key committee chairs still work on reaching an agreement. While the state is losing revenue to Iowa due to its lack of legal sports betting, it is uncertain if the bill can attract the necessary GOP votes to pass the Senate.