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In Minnesota, Senator Nicole Mitchell was arrested for burglary last Monday. Since then, she’s been removed from her committee and caucus assignments. That’s according to Senate Majority Leader Erin Murphy. Nicole Mitchell claims this entire situation has been blown out of proportion. 

Mitchell wanted to retrieve her deceased father’s ashes last Monday. She needed to visit the house of a relative with Alzheimer’s to do that. The situation escalated quickly and Mitchell was arrested. Now, the Minnesota Senate has an issue. They have 33 Republicans and 33 Democrats. With Democrats holding the majority vote, they will now need Republican voters to pass legislation. Additionally, that could affect sports betting and historical horse racing in Minnesota. All because of Nicole Mitchell’s arrest.

Mitchell’s arrest could affect a sports betting bill that’s been trying to be passed for the last four years

Zack Stephenson is a democratic representative in Minnesota. He’s been working to get sports betting legalized for the last four years. On Tuesday, April 30, one of his proposed bills is set for a hearing in the House Taxes Committee. Stephenson has a second bill in the works right now that would ban historical horse racing in the state. His sports bills are two of several that are moving through the Senate. 

Stephenson runs into a dilemma if either bill makes it out of the house. Democrats do not have a majority in the Senate. Meaning that Stephenson would need Republican senators to sign onto the bill.

Zack Stephenson has made a ton of progress in getting sports gambling fully legalized in Minnesota

During Minnesota’s current session, Zack Stephenson brokered a deal between charitable gaming and the state’s Indian Tribes. This was earlier in the session and before they ran into their current problem with Nicole Mitchell. Initially, Stephenson appeared to have a deal to move online sports betting forward. However, Mitchell’s case and other factors have played into why sports gambling is not fully legalized. 

 Lawsuits are a huge reason why sports gambling continues to run into issues. Horse racing tracks have sued casino tribes for having historical horse racing machines. The Minnesota Racing Commission allows them to have historical horse racing machines. All of these factors, including Nicle Mitchell’s arrest could be a reason why sports betting is not legalized in Minnesota during their current session.