Minnesota gambling laws might seem pretty relaxed compared to other US gambling laws. However, this does not mean that all forms of gambling are legal and regulated in the state.
Minnesota gambling laws
Minnesota gambling laws define lawful gambling, which stands for “the operation, conduct, or sale of bingo, raffles, paddlewheels, tipboards, and pull-tabs.” As in many other states, until a form of gambling is not explicitly authorized it is most probably classified illegal. Fortunately, Minnesota based players have plenty of gambling options to choose from within their state.
In total, there are 20 racetracks and casinos in Minnesota. Most of these venues are operated by the federally recognized Native American tribes of the state. The tribal gambling compacts were signed in 1989, after a year of negotiation between the parties. The original compacts were later extended, allowing for more games at the tribal casinos of Minnesota, including blackjack.
Most of the casinos have a wide variety of games, including slots, card games, and electronic bingo-type games. In 2009, Minnesota’s casinos offered 22,252 gaming machines and 372 gaming tables. Since June 2005, Texas Hold’Em enjoys an exception from Minnesota gambling laws. Hold’Em tournaments are permitted, as long as they “do not provide any direct financial benefit to the promoter or organizer and the value of all prizes awarded in a tournament does not exceed $200.”
Overall, Minnesotans have three lawful option for legal card gaming: “at a tribal casino, at the card clubs at Canterbury Park or Running Aces, tournaments that do not provide any direct profit to the organizer, or informal social games.”
Besides the casinos, Minnesota is home to a racetracks and a cardroom. Minnesota gambling laws authorize bets on horse races at licensed racetracks. According to US gambling news, this form of betting is really popular amongst Minnesotans. With the exception of pari-mutuel betting, the gambling rules of Minnesota generally prohibit betting and the operation locations where betting is permitted or promoted.
The Minnesota Gambling Control Board provides a clear definition for betting and bets, which might help further orientation. Betting is “when parties agree that one party will give another party money, property, or some other benefit in the event of an outcome that is dependent upon chance.” The definition stands even if the element of skill is also involved beside the element of chance.
Online Gambling in Minnesota
Online gambling in Minnesota is not explicitly outlawed, however it’s not authorized either. Therefore, it’s for the best if Minnesotans don’t play at internet casinos. There might be some sites out there, claiming that online gambling in Minnesota is legal, but players should not risk playing or registering at such operators.
It is a warning sign, that in 2015 Minnesota lawmakers had banned the sale of online scratch-tickets on the official site of the Minnesota Lottery. Before the ban, players could transfer money to their online wallet and buy online scratch cards or participate in iLotteries. After such measures, it should be clear to everyone that Minnesota is not a pro-online gambling state.
Lotteries in Minnesota
The Minnesota Lottery was established in 1988. It offers multi-state and local draw games and scratch tickets as well. The lottery’s proceeds are used for good causes, mostly on environmental programs. Players can’t purchase Minnesota Lottery tickets online since 2015 (for more information please read ‘Online Gambling in Minnesota’ above.)
Daily Fantasy Sports in Minnesota
Currently, there are three daily fantasy sports bills in front of Minnesota lawmakers. Each of the bills would regulate, and explicitly legalize daily fantasy sports in Minnesota. As of now, Minnesota does not have any laws that would prohibit paid daily fantasy sports. “The legislation has delegated the Department of Public Safety with the authority to investigate any violations of gambling law,” commented the Minnesota Attorney General’s office.