Minnesota on the Verge of banning Online Gambling

Has Sheldon Adelson made any trips to Minnesota lately? The Land of 10,000 Lakes is currently thinking about banning online lottery sales within the state. If this goes through, it would also put a preemptive ban on other forms of internet gaming like casino games and poker.

The state Senate is already largely in favor of the bill. And now the state House is looking at the legislation to form an opinion on whether or not they agree with a ban. Mark Dayton, Minnesota’s Governor, has already said that if both the House and Senate decide to abolish internet gambling, he won’t stand in their way with a veto. However, his one stipulation is that the lottery be given adequate time to end their online operation with a smooth transition.

The Minnesota Lottery has been offering tickets over the internet since 2010, and they recently introduced online scratch-offs this year. However, the problem is that the organization never consulted state lawmakers before doing so. Because of this and concerns over minors being able to buy online tickets, some Minnesota politicians have begun calling for an end to the operation.

On the other side of this battle are the lottery organizers and their supporters, who argue that there are more than enough safeguards to keep minors from purchasing tickets. Moreover, they say that blocking internet sales would take a chunk out of the state’s tax revenue.

It’s interesting that those in opposition of an online lottery are throwing out the argument that kids could gamble. This is one of the primary points that Adelson has used in trying to instill fear across America and make internet gaming less attractive. Just like the Minnesota Lottery, those in favor of online gaming have counter-argued that underage gambling is a very rare occurrence, thanks to the many safeguards in place.

At any rate, there’s little word on exactly who’s lobbying politicians from the Gopher State to oppose internet gambling. But if this movement is successful, it would spell doom for any efforts to legalize online casino games and poker in Minnesota. And this would be quite strange at a time like this, when many states are busy figuring out how they can jump aboard the internet gaming train and make some extra revenue.