Minnesota has many forms of legalized gambling. It includes casinos, horseracing, card clubs and a state lottery. There are a couple of legal online gaming niches available to Minnesotans.
Minnesota Horse Racing
Like most states, horseracing is the oldest form of gambling in Minnesota. There are two active tracks in the state. One is at Canterbury just south of the Twin Cities in Shakopee. The other is Running Aces just north of the Twin Cities in Columbus. These tracks offer live betting during the summer months and off-track betting year-round. Canterbury and Running Aces do not permit phone or online wagers.
Minnesota Card Clubs
Canterbury and Running Aces are permitted to operate card clubs. Both operate poker rooms. Canterbury spreads fixed limit poker games, while Running Aces offers spread limit games. The bet limit is $100 at Minnesota poker games. Canterbury gets around this by offering poker tournaments where there is a time limit and players go home with their chips. It is essentially a two-hour cash game where players may not leave unless they bust.
The main game at both card clubs is Texas Hold’em. Occasional Omaha High/Low and Seven Card Stud games are spread.
Canterbury and Running Aces offer several house-banked card games. This includes blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, baccarat, Ultimate Texas Hold’em and Three Card Poker. The casino game bet limit is $300.
North Dakota licenses Bet America which accepts legal online wagers for horse racing, dog racing and fantasy sports. This is legal for residents of this state (please read their terms and conditions to ensure this has not changed).
Minnesota Reservation Casinos
Minnesota tribes may spread slots, video poker and blackjack. Electronic versions of table games are also allowed. Live poker, tribe-specific pull tabs and bingo are also legal. There are 11 reservations that host 18 casinos.
The Minnesota Lottery sells scratch-off tickets and lotto drawings. This includes interstate and intrastate pools. The Minnesota Lottery once branched out into online sales. This included internet scratch-off tickets and lotto sales. Tickets could also be sold at gas pumps and ATMs. The state legislature banned these games. They went dark in September 2015.
Minnesota Online Gambling
While the Minnesota Lottery was forced out of the online business, there are still a couple of ways players can gamble over the Internet. Online horseracing is available at sites like TVG and TwinSpires.
Daily fantasy sports are also legal in Minnesota. This is where players join sites like DraftKings and FanDuel and join fantasy sports pools for real money. There has been no action taken by the state legislature or attorney general to combat daily fantasy sports in Minnesota. In March 2016, a DFS legislation bill (HF2426) was introduced.
Minnesota Pull Tabs
Charities are permitted to offer pull tabs to fund programs. This was expanded to electronic pull tabs in 2013 to help pay for a new stadium that will one day host the Minnesota Vikings. These electronic pull tabs are available in bars and mimic slot machines and online scratch-off lottery tickets. The program was a complete flop, forcing the state to fund the stadium through other methods. This included paper pull tabs, commercial levies and a transfer of funding from tobacco taxes.
In addition to pull tabs, charities may offer bingo. The games may not be electronic except for the daubing portion. Reservations may also offer bingo in a commercial format.
Online gaming works — it’s been licensed in Europe for years, and in the US it’s already licensed in New Jersey, Nevada, and in Delaware. If you are a resident of the fine state of Minnesota, don’t just sit there — make your voice heard.