Minnesota has a thriving gambling market, with billions of dollars wagered on a wide range of options every year. The Land of 10,000 Lakes now has its sights set on sports betting, which became federally legal and has already been legalized in more than a dozen states.
So, what is taking the lawmakers so long to finalize the paperwork necessary to launch a sports betting industry? The truth is that the process is complex and has become quite complicated, thanks to substantial opposition from several parties. However, there may still be some light at the end of the tunnel. Here is everything you need to know about a likely sports betting industry in Minnesota.
The State of Sports Betting in Minnesota
There is both support for and opposition against sports betting in Minnesota. On one hand, a section of lawmakers are actively working on legalizing sports betting across the state. On the other hand, there is substantial opposition from several parties, and most notably from the Indian Tribes in the state.
There have been two House bills proposed to legalize sports betting in Minnesota. The first was House bill HF 1278 by Rep. Pat Garofalo, which was introduced last year. The bill took into consideration many of the Indian Tribes’ concerns, but it still didn’t get their approval. The bill appears to have stalled.
The second bill that is currently under discussion is bill SF 1894 by Sen. Roger Chamberlain. This bill was also filed last year, and the Indian Tribes opposed it, too. Sen. Chamberlain later proposed amendments that would better address the Tribes concerns. The proposed amendments include:
- Requiring sports bettors to register in-person for mobile-based sports wagering. In-person registration would be done at the casinos or racetracks.
- Clarifying that state sports betting law pre-empts local sports betting and gambling laws.
- Allowing each sports betting operator the option of offering up to two individually-branded sports betting platforms, including mobile sports betting apps for each platform.
- Expediting the process of setting up sports betting applicants either summarily or as an emergency.
These amendments are still under discussion, but there is little hope that the Indian Tribes will change their stance. The opposition stems from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association (MIGA), which is worried that introducing sports betting will disproportionately affect their brick-and-mortar casinos.
John McCarthy, the Executive Director of MIGA, submitted a written testimony reiterating the Indian Tribes’ stance, saying, “Minnesota tribes remain concerned that a legal sports betting market could have negative consequences to the state’s delicate gaming industry.” As it stands now, the tribes have asked that the bill stalls until the state studies the effects of legalizing sports betting in other states.
A Thriving Market for Offshore Sports Betting
Sports betting enthusiasts in Minnesota will have to wait a bit longer for the state to legalize sports betting. However, this doesn’t mean that they still cannot wager on their favorite teams and games. The truth is that sports betting has been going on all this time, thanks to offshore sports betting sites.
The law in Minnesota doesn’t say anything about betting through offshore sites. Most importantly, it doesn’t outlaw it – and neither does it allow it. As such, anyone can bet on an offshore sportsbook.
Minnesotans have a wide range of offshore sportsbooks to choose from – as many as there are on the internet. However, it is recommendable to limit your options to reputable brands, and most preferably those already operating in other states where sports betting is legal. This is because many offshore sportsbooks are unscrupulous and will unfairly deny you your winnings – some will even go as far as exploiting your private details, such as your banking information.
Offshore sportsbooks are not bound by the country’s laws on gambling. To this end, many offer a robust range of sports betting options, including games by teams from all over the world. The standard range of sports categories on most of these sportsbooks includes:
|Mixed Martial Arts
|Track & Field
These categories also cover all of America’s favorite sports leagues, including the NFL, NBA, NHL, NASCAR, WNBA, and a wide range of collegiate leagues and games. The betting options under each game and category as also diverse, including totals, overs, under, money lines, propositions, in-game bets, and more.
Other Forms of Legal Gambling in Minnesota
Sports betting may still be illegal in Minnesota, but the state has one of the biggest gambling markets in the country. Legal gambling options include:
There are 19 Indian Tribal casinos in Minnesota. Most of these are located in the North while the rest are distributed across the central and southern regions of the state. They all offer a wide range of casino games, including thousands of slot games and all variations of table games, including cards, dive, and balls.
The largest casino in Minnesota is Mystic Lake Casino Hotel, which offers more than 100 tables and 4,000 slot machines. The legal age for gambling at a casino is at least 18 years old.
Poker is one of the most popular gambling options across Minnesota. Poker games are offered at multiple designated gambling facilities, including casinos, racetracks, at charity events, and socially through private tournaments.
Horse and dog racing are also fair play in Minnesota’s gambling industry. However, there are only two tracks in the state: Canterbury Park (located in Shakopee), and Running Aces (located in Columbus). It is also worth noting that there is a strict ban on off-track racing.
Lottery is one of the biggest and most popular forms of gambling in the state with an annual revenue of more than $500 million. The law allows for several lottery options, including Mega Millions and Powerball.
Minnesota has one of the friendliest and most robust outlooks on charitable gambling. The state relies on this practice to raise money for charitable causes – charitable gambling raised as much as $1.5 billion in 2016 alone, according to a report in the Star Tribune. Some of the events allowed under charitable gambling include lottery, bingo, raffles, pull-tabs, and a wide range of casino games.
Gambling amongst family and friends is not a crime, but the law regulating it is very strict. For example, social gambling is restricted to a range of skill-based games, and the law restricts the host from profiting in any way.
There is no definite schedule or date for when sports betting will become legal in Minnesota. The timeline will depend on the discussions between the Indian Tribes and pro-sports betting groups. However, the outlook is generally optimistic!
No, it is unlikely that you will get into trouble for betting on an offshore sportsbook but we do not recommend it. We advise you to choose legal betting options that are legal and regulated. By doing so you make sure you gamble in a secure and safe environment.
The minimum age for gambling in Minnesota is 18 years old. However, minors can engage in some of the less-pronounced forms of gambling, such as social and charitable gambling.