Though it may not be known by a wealth of people, the Midwestern United States is a hidden gem when it comes to casino gambling. Though this is not true of every state, there are plenty of gambling locations throughout the region. Minnesota, in particular, is home to a large number of casinos and has been for quite some time. Like some of its neighbors, the existence of casinos in Minnesota has a lot to do with the effort made to prevent money from leaving the state via Canadian casinos.
Minnesota Online Casinos
Participating in unlicensed real money games of chance is considered a misdemeanor in Minnesota, but none of the relevant regulations refer specifically to internet play. Consequently, it’s impossible to say whether those land-based gambling laws apply to the services offered by popular iGaming sites, as none of their customers have been charged with unlawful gambling so far, which means that Minnesota courts simply didn’t have a chance to set a legal precedent.
The local authorities simply aren’t interested in prosecuting individual internet gamblers, so most of the Minnesota-based online gaming enthusiasts play on offshore networks without being bothered by anyone, completely oblivious to the aforementioned theoretical legal problems.
Picking a good Minnesota-facing iGaming site may seem like a daunting task with so many online gambling operators around, but in the end, everything boils down to following a few very basic guidelines. If you’re interested in online poker, you should always go for the high-traffic sites, as the amount of players depends on how smooth cash games flow and how big tournament prizes are. When it comes to a casino, the bonuses and game selection are the most important factors.
The software doesn’t really matter all that much since most of the noteworthy US-facing sites are powered by RTG. Finally, if you’re looking for a good sportsbook, you definitely shouldn’t focus exclusively on prices, as the available markets and live/pre-match betting options are equally important.
Black Bear Casino Resort
Fortune Bay Resort Casino
Grand Casino Hinckley
Grand Casino Mile Lacs
Grand Portage Lodge and Casino
Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel
Little Six Casino
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
Northern Lights Casino
Palace Casino and Hotel
Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort
Running Aces Harness Park
Seven Clans Casino Red Lake
Seven Clans Casino Thief River Falls
Seven Clans Casino Warroad
Shooting Star Casino
Treasure Island Resort and Casino
White Oak Casino
Gambling in Minnesota
Minnesota is perhaps most famous among US gambling enthusiasts for its tribal casinos, most of which are located in Carlton, Scott, St. Louis and Cass. Other than that, Minnesota has pari-mutuel betting, which is available at the Canterbury Park, as well as charity gambling events and a state-run lottery.
Home games are allowed as long as there is no rake involved. When it comes to remote gambling, the state has introduced remote pull-tabs in 2012. However, Minnesota doesn’t have a real intrastate iGaming industry and the local politicians aren’t interested in passing new online gambling-friendly legislation.
Casinos in Minnesota
Minnesota does not currently allow state casinos; however, thanks to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988, players can legally access more than 20 brick-and-mortar casino establishments situated on Native American reservations. These casinos host all types of slot machines, video poker, and table games.
Some of the most popular Minnesota casinos are:
- Mystic Lake Casino located in Prior Lake
- Treasure Island Resort and Casino located in Welch
- Fortune Bay Resort Casino located in Tower
- Grand Casino Hinckley located in Hinckley
- Prairie’s Edge Casino located in Granite
Dice games may be played in bars and restaurants so long as the prizes are limited to food and beverage items.
Players may own and operate gambling devices in their own home for entertainment purposes. Social casino games are legal as long as the prizes do not exceed $200. Slot machines do not need to be considered antiques to be privately owned and operated.
Native American/Tribal Casinos
Just a little bit of research will show you that a large majority of the casinos in Minnesota are of the Native American variety. What this means is that the casinos in question are both situated on land owned by Native tribes and operated by the tribes too. For the average casino-goer, the fact that these are considered to be Native American casinos is not something that will have much, if any, impact on your overall gaming experience. The reason for this is due to the fact that they are much like the casinos you will find in Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Most come complete with a great selection of casino games as well as amenities such as hotels and restaurants.
Card rooms in Minnesota are not, by definition, casinos, but they are important to take note of. In Minnesota, card rooms are typically located at racetracks and are unique in that they really only offer poker. Apart from the different variations of the game of poker, you will find no other forms of gambling other than, perhaps, pari-mutuel wagering (due to their being located at racetracks).
With that being said, the existence of standalone card rooms meant that the tribal casinos in the state are also allowed to offer poker games.
Minnesota Sportsbooks & Sports betting
Recently, the US Supreme Court rules in favor of state-level gambling regulation. Many Minnesota legislators have been working hard to push a bill that would capitalize on the opportunity and legalize sports betting. However, the bill failed to generate a joint resolution and must wait till 2019 for its next ruling.
State Representative Pat Garofalo believes that sports gambling is a lucrative opportunity for Minnesota. Native American tribes are using the extra time to try and take advantage of sports wagering as well. With the increasing demand for sports gambling in Minnesota, there’s a high chance of the state legalizing it in the next year or two.
eSports and fantasy gambling
Minnesota does not differentiate between wagers made on electronic sports (eSports) games and traditional sports games. As a result, betting on the outcome of an eSports game is currently prohibited. If passed, the Minnesota legislation pushing for the legalization of sports gambling would legalize eSports betting as well.
A bill proposed in the spring of 2018 that would legalize daily fantasy sports (DFS) gambling in Minnesota failed to pass by an overwhelming vote. State legislators view betting on fantasy sports as another form of gambling that could bring harm to regular players.
The failed bill is currently undergoing revisions to introduce more regulation to DFS betting in an effort to make it safer for gamblers. After these new regulations have been implemented, the bill will be reintroduced to the house floor in 2019. For now, it is illegal to place wagers on fantasy sports in Minnesota.
Minnesota offers a limited selection of horse race wagering options. Players may legally make pari-mutuel wagers, but only on-track and licensed establishments. Thoroughbred and quarter horse racing can be found at:
- Canterbury Park located in Shakopee
- Running Aces located in Columbus
Most of the major casinos in Minnesota offer live poker table games. Charity gaming events that host poker are also commonplace in the state.
Minnesota defines social betting as any gambling done outside of organized or commercialized gambling enterprises. This wording permits players to legally host private games of poker as long as they’re not marketed to the public and revenue is not generated.
Players looking to gamble in the convenience of their own home can use our list of recommended online casinos to find great online poker tables.
The Minnesota state lottery has been running for 25 years, awarding winners with hard cash. Currently, the Minnesota in-state lottery offers games such as:
- Daily 3
- Gopher 5
- Northstar Cash
Popular multi-state lottery games are also available, including:
- Mega Millions
- Lucky for Life
- Hot Lotto
Minnesota’s lottery is more generous than most of the other US state lotteries, allowing lottery winners to keep 60% of the prize money. Lottery operators and advertisers get 17.75% of the earnings to cover their costs, and the state claims anything left over in the form of taxes.
Minnesota directs all revenue generated by lottery taxes to the Minnesota Environment and Natural Resources Trust Fund. Lottery winners may be subject to garnishment if they are delinquent on their taxes or child support. Prize money must be claimed within one year of the award date; otherwise, the money is considered forfeit and goes to the lotteries and the state.
Even though Minnesota is not allowed to tax the sovereign Native American reservations, the state still collects over a billion dollars in revenue from charity gambling events. Minnesota hosts more charity gaming than any other state in the US, and it’s extremely liberal in its definition of charity gambling. Any state-recognized non-profit organization may host:
- Texas hold’em
And many more.
Minnesota Casino History
The casino history of Minnesota really began to take shape in the mid-1940s when bingo and other raffle games were legalized. Since then, the bingo industry has grown to be one of the biggest, highest-earning in the nation. After the legalization in the 1940s, things remained quiet for a good while in Minnesota. It wasn’t until the early 1980s when Minnesota’s many Native tribes began fighting court battles in an effort to have the state grant them bingo licenses as well. These battles were successful and by the mid-1980s there were quite a few tribal-run bingo halls across the state.
In the following years, the tribes continued taking up their issues with the courts and were eventually allowed to host video poker games, slot games, table games, and eventually poker. By the end of the 1990s, the tribal casino industry in the state of Minnesota was thriving. At this point in time the state also legalized the existence of card rooms which were to be located, almost exclusively, at horse and dog tracks around the state. Since the turn of the century there really haven’t been too many major developments on the land-based casino front. As for whether or not Minnesota will ever grant casino licenses to companies and organizations that are not affiliated with Native American tribes, that much remains unclear. There are currently no pieces of legislation being fought over, so the preliminary thought is that Minnesota’s lawmakers are content to keep the scope of gambling exactly where it is presently.
Minnesota Online Gambling FAQ
How Do I Get Started?
Embarking on your iGaming adventure doesn’t really take a lot of effort. If you already know what site you’d like to play on, all you need to do is open a gambling account, transfer some funds to your site, verify the new account and start betting or playing your favorite games.
How Do I Get My Money if I Win?
The funds attached to your gambling account are at your disposal at all times, so if you want to receive a payout, simply place an appropriate request using the cashier menu. Most payouts usually take up to 2 days to process. The default payment method is a bank wire transfer, so your winnings should arrive within the space of 2 weeks in total.
What is the minimum age to gamble online in Minnesota?
The minimum age is 18 for offshore sites. The minimum legal age for land-based casino gambling in Michigan is 18.
How do I open an account?
All you need to do is fill out a simple registration form. If you want to gamble with real money involved, you’ll have to go through a basic identity check.
Where can I open my account from?
You can open your account from anywhere in the United States.
From where can I access Minnesota online gambling sites?
You should be able to access most sites from anywhere in the US and, in some cases, even from abroad. It’s worth remembering that local gambling regulations differ from state to state. We don’t recommend playing for real money from Washington or Utah, as online gambling may be considered a felony there.
Where can I familiarize myself with the official regulations over gambling in Minnesota?
The relevant definitions and regulations are spread across several sections of Minnesota Code.
How do I deposit to my online gambling account?
Offshore sites usually prefer credit card payments. Visa or MasterCard cards are recommended to ensure maximum reliability.
How do I withdraw my winnings?
You can request a bank wire transfer or a check by courier.
Is my money safe?
The answer is yes if you play on reliable sites such as the ones listed here. Generally speaking, you should be very careful when dealing with sites that you know very little about, as there are many scammer groups masquerading as legitimate US-facing iGaming businesses that try to defraud inexperienced Minnesota-based gamblers.
What body regulates gambling in Minnesota?
Regulatory bodies that have some influence on Minnesota gambling include the Minnesota DPS Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division, Minnesota Gambling Control Board, Minnesota Racing Commission and Minnesota State Lottery.