Charitable Gaming 1945
Pari-Mutuel Betting 1983
Tribal Casinos 1989
Tribal Casinos/Charitable Gaming/Lottery/Pari-Mutuel Betting 18+
Tribal Casinos 19
Racetrack Casinos 2
Gambling in Minnesota dates back to before written history, enjoyed by different native tribes. In the 1800s, Mississippi had riverboat gamblers and gamblers among the soldiers and railroad workers. Their favorites included roulette, dice, and poker games. The Minnesota constitution of 1857 threatened to put a stop to this due to the widespread corruption of gambling. Regardless, gambling and gambling houses continued with thousands of slot machines scattered throughout the state.
Sports betting, as well as Internet gambling, is illegal in Minnesota. Some games are permitted at liquor establishments, provided they do not organize or financially benefit directly. Class III tribal gaming is allowed, as are charitable gaming and pari-mutuel horse betting. A state lottery is also authorized.
The Minnesota State Lottery has been around for over three decades, debuting in April 1990. It began by offering instant scratch tickets and lottery state draws, and multistate draws, including Powerball. By 2020, it offered 48 games. Tickets are sold from over 3,100 authorized retailers, such as convenience stores, gas stations, and grocery stores.
Charitable gambling by registered nonprofit organizations is regulated by the Minnesota Gambling Control Board. Lawful gambling includes bingo, pull tabs, tip boards, paddlewheels, and raffles. Qualifying nonprofits include religious, veterans, fraternal, among other nonprofits.
Pari-mutuel racing falls under the control of the Minnesota Racing Commission. Minnesota’s pari-mutuel racing is available at two tracks, including Canterbury Park in Shakopee and Running Aces in Columbus. Simulcast racing is also permitted from the tracks.
Since the mid-80s, horseracing and wagering on horse racing had seen a decline similar to other states. In part, this led to legislation to allow card clubs to offer different forms of baccarat, blackjack, and poker, which has turned the tide. Advanced deposit wagering is also permitted but on out-of-state races only.
Fantasy sports are popular in Minnesota and are tolerated despite not being formally legalized and regulated. Operators like DraftKings and FanDuel already accept players from the state. The argument for why it should be legalized is that it is skilled-based rather than chance-based. Still, attempts to legalize it in 2018 failed.
There are no state or commercial casinos in Minnesota. However, it has 11 federally recognized tribal nations, 4 Dakota tribes, and 7 Ojibwe/Chippewa. Minnesota tribes were the first to sign and negotiate tribal compacts in the United States. This allows them to run Class III casinos.
Minnesota Tribal casinos offer 100s or 1,000s of slot machines, video poker, bingo, pull tabs, and table games: blackjack, Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold ’em, baccarat, Mississippi Stud, Seven Card Stud, Omaha Hi-Lo, and Pai Gow Poker.
|Black Bear Casino Resort||1785 Highway 210 -Carlton, MN 55718-0777||blackbearcasinoresort.com|
|Fond-du-luth Casino||129 East Superior -Street Duluth, MN 55802||fondduluthcasino.com|
|Fortune Bay Resort Casino||1430 Bois Forte Rd -Tower, MN 55790||fortunebay.com|
|Grand Casino Hinckley||777 Lady Luck Drive – Hinckley, MN 55037||grandcasinomn.com|
|Grand Casino Mille Lacs||777 Grand Avenue -Onamia, MN 56359||grandcasinomn.com|
|Grand Portage Lodge & Casino||70 Casino Dr. Grand – Portage, MN 55605||grandportage.com|
|Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel||39375 County Highway 24 – Morton, MN 56270||jackpotjunction.com|
|Little Six Casino||2450 Sioux Trl NW – Prior Lake, MN 55372||littlesixcasino.com|
|Mystic Lake Casino Hotel||2400 Mystic Lake Blvd. – Prior Lake, MN 55372||mysticlake.com|
|Northern Lights Casino||6800 Y Frontage Road NW – Walker, MN 56484||northernlightscasino.com|
|Cedar Lakes Casino Hotel||6268 Upper Cass Frontage Road NW -Cass Lake, MN 56633||cedarlakescasino.com|
|Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort||5616 Prairie’s Edge Lane – Granite Falls, MN 56241||prairiesedgecasino.com|
|Seven Clans Casino Red Lake||10200 Highway 89 – Red Lake, MN 56671||sevenclanscasino.com|
|Seven Clans Casino Thief River Falls||20595 Center Street East – Thief River Falls, MN 56701||sevenclanscasino.com|
|Seven Clans Casino Warroad||34966 605th Ave –Warroad, MN 56763||sevenclanscasino.com|
|Shooting Star Casino||777 Casino Road -Mahnomen, MN 56557||starcasino.com|
|Shooting Star Casino – Bagley||13325 340th Street – Bagley, MN 56621||starcasino.com|
|Treasure Island Resort & Casino||5734 Sturgeon Lake Road – Welch, MN 55089||ticasino.com|
|White Oak Casino||45830 US-2 – Deer River, MN 56636||whiteoakcasino.com|
|Running Aces Harness Park||15201 Running Aces Blvd – Columbus, MN 55025||runaces.com|
|Canterbury Park||1100 Canterbury Road South, – Shakopee, MN 55379||canterburypark.com|
In 1945 bingo for charitable purposes was legalized by the Minnesota Legislature. This was followed by paddlewheels, tip boards, and raffles in 1978 and pull tabs in 1981. During the 80s, Minnesota witnessed the rise of native-run bingo halls, and by 1987 there were over a dozen.
After a constitutional amendment in 1982 to allow pari-mutuel racing, The Minnesota racing commission was established in 1983 through legislation. The state saw its first track, Canterbury Downs, opened in 1985. A proposal to allow off-track horse betting and races failed to gather the necessary support in 1994. However, five years later, in 1999, card clubs at licensed racetracks were authorized. In 2016, advanced deposit wagering (ADW) was authorized through legislation.
Between 1989-1991, Minnesota negotiated 22 tribal compacts with 11 tribes following the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) in 1988.
Bills to amend the constitution to allow a Minnesota lottery first appeared in 1972 and again in 1986 but was narrowly defeated. The Minnesota Lottery was approved in 1988 through a referendum to amend the state’s constitution with legislation appearing the following year.
The state lottery’s history is not all positive, with several top executives removed from their positions for mismanagement during the 2010s. Among other things, the lottery was plagued by higher costs relative to other state lotteries. In 2004, George R. Anderson, a director since 1980, committed suicide by overdose before a pending damning report was released.
A Bill to legalize daily fantasy sports failed to pass in the House in April 2018. Similarly, in 2019 a Bill to introduce sports betting died after failing to get a hearing the prior year. In 2020 the bill was reintroduced but got derailed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sports betting concerns have been raised by the state’s tribal bands about the impact on their casino monopoly. Despite the challenges, it’s expected that there will be further attempts at legislation going forward.
Pari-mutuel betting, including live horse racing and simulcast, are permitted at the state’s commercial racetracks. Advance deposit wagering is also allowed on simulcast races outside of the state.
Yes, the Minnesota State Lottery is authorized to offer scratch tickets, pull tabs, and state/interstate draws.
Minnesota gambling laws currently permit tribal casinos, pari-mutuel horse betting, charitable gaming, and a state lottery. Fantasy contests though not explicitly legal or regulated, are tolerated.
No, online gambling is not legal in Minnesota. This includes online sports betting and online casinos. Although not formally legalized, fantasy sports betting is available through sites like FanDuel and DraftKings.
Yes, the state has 19 Class III casinos offering slots, table games, and video poker. There are also two racetrack casinos offering table games.