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Patrick Cwiklinski

by Patrick Cwiklinski

Updated Jun 20, 2024 · 10:44 AM PDT

While sports betting has yet to be legalized in Minnesota, there is plenty of gambling to be had at one of the many tribal casinos.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned on May 14, 2018, allowing each state in the country to propose and create their own laws and regulations for sports betting. Minnesota has been slow to develop any sports betting regulation as the local tribes have a significant influence on the proceedings, however it looks like that could change in 2023.

Minnesota was the first state to negotiate a compact with tribes under the Indian Gambling Regulatory Act in 1988. When making these deals or compacts, the state didn’t include any tax contributions from the tribes or allow for any renegotiation in the deal without the tribes’ permission—there’s little reason for the tribes to choose to do so now.

Minnesota’s 11 tribes operate 19 casinos and offer things like slots, blackjack, poker, and bingo. The variety of table game offerings are rather low though.

Outside of the tribal casinos, Minnesota has a state lottery that offers residents the option to purchase tickets online. There are also two horse racing tracks/card rooms operating in the state.

Until legalized sports betting comes to the North Star State, Minnesotans are able to make the trip south to Iowa where sports betting has already been legalized.

When Will Online Sports Betting Be Legal in Minnesota?

Minnesota has 11 federally recognized tribes who are strongly against the introduction of sports betting. Specifically, they are against online sports betting which they feel could take away from their in-person casino locations.

Minnesota currently has a sports betting bill moving through the local legislature that would legalize retail and online sports betting. There’s a good chance Minnesota sports betting could be legalized in 2023.

In 2019, a Minnesota Senate committee advanced bill SF 1894 to allow sports betting online, at tribal casinos, and at the state’s two horse-racing tracks. Another House bill, HF 1278, was also put forth which didn’t allow for betting at racetracks.

Bills proposed in odd-numbered years carry over to the next year in Minnesota, so these were still being heard in 2020, but were unable to pass despite amendments to force mobile users to sign up in person.

With local tribes holding all the power in Minnesota and being in no rush to agree to anything which could see them lose control of gambling activities in the state, it’s unlikely we’ll see legalized sports betting in Minnesota anytime soon.

Latest Minnesota Sports Betting News

Here are the most recent key updates on the legalization of Minnesota sports betting:

  • February 1, 2023: Minnesota is taking another swing at legalizing sports betting in 2023, as lawmakers introduced the Minnesota sports betting act. Sen. Jeremy Miller highlighted the details of the act, which would legalize online and retail sports betting for 11 indigenous tribes, two horse racing tracks, and professional sports teams.
  • May 12, 2022: The latest Minnesota sports betting bill, HF 778, was approved by the House of Representatives by a vote of 70-57. However, the Minnesota sports betting bill is expected to face difficulty in the Senate, as Majority Leader Jeremy Miller has already said Tribal-exclusive control of sports betting will not pass without the involvement of racetracks.
  • April 28, 2022: The Minnesota Ways and Means committee officially approved HF 778, a sports betting bill that would legalize retail and online sports betting for the state’s 11 Native American Tribes. The vote now moves to the Minnesota House for a hearing and possible vote.
  • March 24, 2022: The latest Minnesota sports betting bill was approved by the Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee by a vote of 9-6. The bill will now move to the Minnesota Tax Committee for further approval.

Minnesota Sports Betting FAQs

Is sports betting legal in Minnesota?

Currently, any form of in-person or online sports betting is illegal and unavailable in the state of Minnesota.

What are the major sports teams in Minnesota?

Minnesota’s top sports teams are the Minnesota Twins (MLB), Minnesota Vikings (NFL), Minnesota Timberwolves (NBA), and Minnesota Wild (NHL).

Can you bet on horse racing in Minnesota?

Horse race betting is available in Minnesota.

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