Minnesota Prepared in '24 for Problem Gambling Awareness, Help

Minnesota Prepared in '24 for Problem Gambling Awareness, Help
Fact Checked by Pat McLoone

With the strong likelihood that lawmakers once again will take up efforts to legalize Minnesota sports betting during next year’s session, advocates for treating people with gambling problems are hopeful to get the word out about the available resources.

An article in the Minneapolis Star Tribune last weekend profiled the Vanguard Center for Gambling Recovery, located at Project Turnabout’s facility in Granite Falls, MN. It offers a residential treatment program that is free for Minnesota adults. While the exact number of facilities offering inpatient treatment for gambling disorders is not known, the Vanguard Center is one of five residential facilities listed on the National Council on Problem Gambling’s treatment facilities web directory.

“The awareness isn’t nearly what it should be,” Project Turnabout CEO Marti Paulson told the Star Tribune. “Because if you don’t need to know, why would you?”

Studies in other states have shown that calls to responsible gambling and problem gambling helplines have increased after gambling was introduced or expanded in a state. For example, an Ohio survey conducted last year showed the number of people who could be diagnosed with a disorder exceeded 250,000. That was more than triple the number identified in the previous survey taken in 2017, and that survey was conducted before sports betting apps launched in the state.

Bill Gave Substantial Funding for Services

Lawmakers who pushed for legalizing on-site retail and online Minnesota sports apps in this year’s session were cognizant of the concerns about responsible and problem gambling. SF1949 called for sports betting operator net revenues to be taxed at 10%. After providing up to 30% of the proceeds to the state’s racetracks, half of the remaining money would have gone to the Minnesota Department of Human Services. The DHS funding would have been split equally between a compulsive gambling treatment program and a grant for the NCPG Minnesota affiliate to raise awareness of problem gambling and help train organizations offering treatment services.

SF1949 failed to pass after tribal gaming leaders and the state’s racetrack operators could not agree on the bill. The tribes want exclusivity on access to sports betting licenses. At the same time, track owners also want access to licenses and have objected to the amount of state money that would have been made available to them as an alternative.

While a bill likely will be filed again when the Minnesota Legislature 2024 session starts in February, it almost assuredly will need bipartisan support. For that to happen, it would require the tribes and tracks to come to terms on licenses or a revenue split. Should a bill come to fruition, MinnesotaBets.com can steer you to the best Minnesota sports betting promos.

Problem Gambling Resources Available

If you feel your gambling activity might be causing problems, the Minnesota Problem Gambling Program offers a toll-free helpline, 1-800-333-HOPE. Information is also available by text by sending HOPE to 6122. Help is also available from the NCPG’s national helpline, 1-800-GAMBLER, and online chat site, ncpgambling.org/help-treatment/chat/.



Steve is an accomplished, award-winning reporter with more than 20 years of experience covering gaming, sports, politics and business. He has written for the Associated Press, Reuters, The Louisville Courier Journal, The Center Square and numerous other publications. Based in Louisville, Ky., Steve has covered the expansion of sports betting in the U.S. and other gaming matters.