Minnesota’s gambling history goes way back to indigenous tribes, but much has changed in the last 70 years. The Gopher State has a favorable relationship with gambling, with both charitable gambling and tribal gambling present throughout the state. Even though Minnesota is considered a progressive state when it comes to gambling, there are a few forms of gambling that have yet to be deemed legal. With tribal casinos dominating the state, let’s see which other types of gambling are legitimate and which ones you should avoid.
Note: The legal gambling age in Minnesota is 18 years.
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Unfortunately, online gambling is not legal in Minnesota, and the situation has not changed in years. Online casinos and bookmakers are not permitted to operate within Minnesota’s borders, as is the case with many other US states.
On the other hand, there are no written laws that ban Minnesota players from joining offshore online casinos. This is the so-called “grey area” of online gambling. Minnesota law does not find it illegal for players to join an online casino operated outside Minnesota state borders. However, the state has issued a warning that gambling on offshore casino sites is potentially dangerous, but it doesn’t fall under the state’s prosecution.
The ban on online gambling on Minnesota-based websites has made it possible for players to turn to offshore sites where players from Minnesota are welcomed with open arms. Luckily, there is an abundance of websites that accept players from the Gopher State, both on PCs and mobile devices. Since international online casinos do not fall under Minnesota jurisdiction, players from this state can join any offshore casino site, preferably a legal one.
Interestingly, the state has made attempts to popularize online lottery. Unfortunately, the effort was deemed unsuccessful after only two years. Minnesota legalized online lottery in 2013, hoping that people will get more interested in the lottery if they were able to buy tickets from home. The program was shut down in 2015 due to the lack of interested parties.
There have been many attempts to legalize daily fantasy sports in the Gopher State. The legislature has been considering several bills to legalize services like FanDuel and DraftKings to operate within state borders. The proposal to legalize DFS passed the Minnesota House of Representatives in 2016, only to get dragged out in the Senate shortly after.
However, since Minnesota currently follows federal law, DFS became instantly legal in the state when the federal law decided to permit daily fantasy sports. Since its legalization, DFS has gained traction with an array of players joining the platform daily.
Thus, betting on FanDuel, DraftKings, Yahoo, and Fantasy Draft daily fantasy sports is entirely legal and safe for Minnesota residents. The Fantasy Sports Trade Association controls all operators while maintaining strong gaming regulations and fair play.
As mentioned before, tribal casinos are the primary source of gambling in Minnesota. There are no commercial casinos in the state, but players can find their source of entertainment in one of the available land-based tribal casinos.
In the early 1980s, high-stakes bingo parlors were introduced on native land. Later on, these parlors expanded to include video gaming, blackjack, and other games, which eventually led to opening casino complexes operated by Indian tribes.
The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act has been regulating all gaming in the state since 1988.
Currently, 11 tribes in Minnesota operate more than 20 individual land-based casinos. However, some of these casinos are quite small, accommodating only a few hundred slot machines and just a couple of table games. Conversely, a few large casinos offer more than 100,000 square feet of gaming space to bettors.
If you’re interested in visiting some of the available land-based casinos in Minnesota, take a look at a few suggestions below.
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel is the largest casino complex in Minnesota. The casino is located in Prior Lake, only a 25-minute drive from the Mall of America. At this complex, visitors can expect an array of available table games and more than 4,000 slot machines on the casino floor, along with regular shows and events.
The casino thinks of both new and experienced players by offering low- and high-stakes games. When it comes to table games, the only game missing is poker. Other available games are bingo, blackjack, pull tabs, and so on. Moreover, Mystic Lake offers a number of promotions and awards both weekly and monthly.
One of the most significant casino complexes in Minnesota is located on Sturgeon Lake Road in Welch. What makes this casino stand out from the rest is the number of available table games — more than any other land-based casino in the Gopher State. Players can enjoy games such as blackjack, bingo, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, 3 Card Poker, 4 Card Poker, and baccarat, among others. Most players are attracted to the Treasure Island casino because of its large poker room and regular poker tournaments, such as the No-Limit Texas Hold’em or No-Limit Hold’em Ante tournament.
Moreover, the casino has many available slot games — more than 2,400 on the casino floor, including video poker and video keno machines. Players interested in a more significant variety of games can opt for one of many specialty slots and classics favorites like blackjack, video keno, video roulette, and video poker.
Another highly favored tribal casino is the Grand Casino Hinckley located in Hinckley, at the junction of Interstate 35 and Minnesota State Highway 48. The complex offers entertainment, lodging, dining, and a massive casino floor with over 2,000 slots. Avid slot players can spin the reels on over 900 progressive slot games, while newcomers can opt for low-stakes video slots, keno, and poker machines.
On the other hand, if you’re more interested in table games, you won’t be disappointed with a drive to Grand Casino Hinckley. The casino floor is equipped with poker, blackjack, bingo, and pull tabs tables. Moreover, the casino offers weekly poker games on Sundays and live Texas Hold’em games every week. Whichever game you prefer, you can find one that meets your needs at the Grand Casino Hinckley.
Horse racing was one of the first legalized gambling activities in the Gopher State. Pari-mutuel betting has been present in the state since the 1960s, with the first step towards legalizing horse racing wagering in 1971. After a few years of proposed bills and legal battles, horse racing was legalized in 1982.
Bettors can choose one of the two tracks that the Minnesota State Racing Commission oversees — Canterbury Park and Running Aces. However, bettors can only wager in person at these racetracks since online betting on horse races isn’t legal in Minnesota.
With land-based casinos making significant revenue, it doesn’t seem likely that Minnesota will be legalizing online gambling any time soon. Currently, there aren’t any bills in progress that could push towards legalizing online gambling sites.
On the bright side, Minnesota authorities don’t seem to be bothered with offshore gambling since there haven’t been any prosecutions against players that join and bet real money on offshore gambling platforms. For now, Minnesotians can access international-based online casinos without worrying about being prosecuted by the state.
Online casinos and bookmakers operating within the state borders are illegal.
Officially, there isn’t. The Minnesota law does not explicitly ban offshore casinos but does warn players about the legality and possible issues that come with joining an offshore casino. However, many Minnesota residents join licensed offshore gambling sites regularly without experiencing legal issues.
The legal gambling age in Minnesota is 18 years for all types of betting.
Unfortunately, online poker isn’t legal in Minnesota. However, offshore gambling is not illegal so players can join well-established offshore poker sites instead.
Players can opt for one of the many tribal casinos, pari-mutuel betting on horses, and licensed charitable betting organizations.