Minnesota Sports Betting

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Last updated: May 20, 2022.

Lawmakers have expressed an interest in legalizing Minnesota sports betting for the past three years but wagering is not yet allowed. Legislators are eager for the new push in 2022.

The main gaming stakeholders in the state are the 11 Indian tribes that operate 19 casinos. Despite efforts made by legislators, the tribes are concerned that a legal MN sports betting market could have negative consequences on the state’s gaming industry. The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association has changed its tune heading into the 2022 session and is working with legislators to legalize sports betting.

The future of Minnesota sports betting

The 2022 Minnesota legislative session is off to a promising start with sports betting as Rep. Zack Stephenson takes a bill through the House that is being aided by the state’s Indian tribes.

In the past, tribes in Minnesota were a hurdle that would not move out of the way for sports betting, an area of caution for many Indian gaming tribes across the nation, particularly when it comes to mobile wagering. Tribes invested in building physical casinos, and a lot of people and programs depend on the revenue they produce.

Stephenson’s bill has moved forward through House, but it faces an uphill battle in the Senate where a non-tribal exclusive proposal is preferred.

When will online sports betting launch in Minnesota?

Both the House and Senate sports betting bills in 2022 include mobile betting. The House bill appears it has the better chance to make it to the finish line and would create up to 11 online licenses through the tribes.

Recent Minnesota sports betting news

Minnesota sports betting

Minnesota House Passes Amended Sports Betting Bill

Minnesota sports betting legislation is past one chamber, but its path forward is murky at best. The House advanced HF 778, 70-57, on Thursday evening. The MN sports betting legislation ventured through five House committees and saw several minor adjustments throughout its journey. While the bill heads to the Senate, its chances to reach the […] Read More
Posted on: May 12, 2022 | Regulation Sports Betting | Pat Evans

What’s happening in Minnesota sports betting right now

  • May 19, 2022 — The Senate Finance Committee sent the House bill to the chamber floor,  but with an amendment that might kill the year’s legalization effort. Senators included the state’s horse racing tracks, which is a non-starter with the tribes – which received exclusivity in the House version.
  • May 12, 2022 — The House advanced its sports betting bill, 70-57, with several amendments. The bill now heads to the Senate, where it will face opposition to the tribal-only aspect to the bill.
  • April 29, 2022 — The House sports betting bill worked its way to the chamber floor, but the issue might be losing steam, according to Fox 9. The Senate favors a broader approach than the House, which likely kills any compromise with the tribal stakeholders.
  • April 15, 2022 — KSTP reports its latest poll shows 64% of Minnesotans believe sports betting should be legal in Minnesota. Another 19% say they are undecided. Those numbers come as the House bill has hit a slow patch in the Ways and Means Committee and the Senate bill has yet to be heard.
  • April 5, 2022 — Rep. Zack Stephenson tweets that he hopes his bill will see a House floor vote by the end of the month; it is currently waiting on a Ways and Means Committee hearing. A Senate bill has not received a hearing yet.
  • April 2, 2022 — The Star Tribune ran an editorial in support of legalizing sports betting in Minnesota. The editorial said the state should implement regulations to help eliminate the sports betting black market.
  • March 31, 2022 — The House Taxes Committee advanced HF 778 onto the Ways & Means Committee. Meanwhile, a Senate bill will begin its hearings in a committee April 4.
  • March 24, 2022 — The Judiciary Finance and Civil Law Committee passed HF 778 onto the Taxes Committee. Meanwhile, an industry source tells LSR the Senate effort is still aways apart from the House proposal.
  • March 16, 2022 — Rep. Zack Stephenson‘s bill passed through its second committee. During the meeting, Stephenson said he would raise the minimum age in the bill from 18 to 21.
  • March 8, 2022 — The House bill introduced March 7 passed the House Commerce Committee, 14-4. The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Zack Stephenson, chairs the committee and said it was a good start to a lengthy journey.
  • March 7, 2022 — Rep. Zack Stephenson announced his bill in a press conference, quickly receiving support from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association. His bill will legalize retail and mobile sports betting through the state’s tribes.
  • February 28, 2022 — Sen. Karla Bigham told CBS Minnesota she believes the bipartisan Senate effort to legalize sports betting has a strong chance to pass this year. The Senate bill, as well as a House bill led by Rep. Zack Stephenson, should be filed soon.
  • February 16, 2022 — Sen. Roger Chamberlain introduced intentions to file a new bill that would legalize retail and mobile sports betting in Minnesota. There is bipartisan support behind the effort, which could lead to live sports betting by fall 2023.
  • February 8, 2022 — The West Central Tribune updated readers on a variety of legislative issues, including sports betting. House Speaker Melissa Hortman said Rep. Zack Stephenson will be “‘all sin all the time’ in 2022.” Stephenson will champion sports betting this session, along with a few other controversial issues, but has not introduced a sports betting bill yet.
  • February 1, 2022 — Minnesota House Speaker Melissa Hortman told Axios Twin Cities that odds for a sports betting deal is “50%.” Senate Majority Leader Jeremy Miller told Axios he supports the issue, but is not sure it has the votes.
  • January 25, 2022 — The Star Tribune reported on the pressure a new Wisconsin retail sportsbook could put on Minnesota legislators. The St. Croix Chippewa Tribe and Gov. Tony Evers agreed to a new compact, which allows Turtle Lake Casino to open a sportsbook, about 75 miles from Minneapolis.
  • January 21, 2022 — The Minnesota Catholic Conference said stopping sports betting in Minnesota will be among its top policy goals this session, which starts Jan. 31, according to The Catholic Spirit. The organization’s executive director called mobile sports betting “a really dangerous door to open.”
  • January 7, 2022 — Sen. Roger Chamberlain, who authored a bill still alive from last year, told LSR, “without mobile it’s dead,” regarding any option to legalize sports betting this year. Chamberlain believes the votes are there and the state’s tribes are willing to work together to legalize mobile sports betting.
  • January 6, 2022 — Rep. Zack Stephenson told LSR he is still chatting with stakeholders before drafting his sports betting legislation. He does expect “meaningful action and passage” of sports betting legislation, however that could mean just retail sports betting.
  • December 2021 — Several Minnesota lawmakers continue to build awareness for a sports betting bill during the 2022 session with multiple local media interviews. The Minnesota legislature comes together in late January and many stakeholders appear on board, at least to legalize retail sports betting.
  • November 2021 — Sources chatting with LSR suggest a new bill will be introduced during the 2022 legislative session with a decent chance of passing, thanks to new cooperation from tribal parties. One catch, at least one source says it will likely be retail only to start.
  • Spring 2021 — Five sports betting bills were filed in the 2021 legislative session. None of the bills received a hearing as there were too many differing views from stakeholders.
  • March 2020 — Minnesota tribes, which have been staunchly opposed to sports betting, helped kill a bill during the 2020 session. The COVID-19 pandemic also limited any chances for the bill to pass.

Legal sports betting options in Minnesota

Other than horse betting, there are currently no legal sports betting options in Minnesota.

There are offshore websites that offer sports betting in Minnesota illegally. They do not hold a license from any US jurisdiction to legally accept bets from residents and have done so for years in violation of federal law.

Without regulation from the state, these offshore betting apps can’t be counted on to pay out winnings and have been known to disappear with people’s money.

The only safe and regulated way to bet on sports in the United States is to do so with a licensed operator.

Most popular sports to bet on in Minnesota

Minnesota has a team in every major sport and none of them are lacking in support.

NFL betting in Minnesota

The NFL is the most bet-on sport in the US and the Minnesota Vikings are by far the most popular team in the state.

Even though the Vikings have never won a Super Bowl and haven’t made the big game since the Purple People Eaters of the ’70s, each game brings out raucous fans in Vikings horns chanting “Skol!” The team has its own fight song played after each touchdown, field goal and safety in an act of pride usually reserved for college sports.

MLB betting in Minnesota

The Minnesota Twins hold a special place in the heart of Minnesotans, being the only professional team in the state to win a championship title. Since moving to Minnesota in 1961, the Twins won the World Series in 1987 and 1991.

Coming off an American League Central division title in 2019, Minnesotans have to be excited about the Twins’ chances in coming seasons.

NBA betting in Minnesota

Minnesota has a long history in the NBA. The Lakers didn’t get their name because Los Angeles is known for its lakes.

The Minneapolis Lakers won five NBA championships before the team moved to Los Angeles in 1960, starting a love affair between Minnesota and basketball.

The Minnesota Timberwolves haven’t been as exciting since their founding in 1989, only winning one division title when led by Kevin Garnett in 2004. However, the Timberwolves have some exciting young players in Karl-Anthony Towns and D’Angelo Russell.

NHL betting in Minnesota

The Minnesota Wild have actually been the most successful sports team in Minnesota over the past decade. The Wild are relatively new to the NHL, entering the league in the year 2000.

While the Wild don’t have the history of the Vikings or Twins, they made the playoffs six of the past seven seasons entering 2019-20 and were on the playoff bubble when the coronavirus shut down play.

NCAA betting in Minnesota

The Minnesota Golden Gophers have a long history as a football program going back to 1882. The team claims seven national titles, though the last one was 60 years ago.

Coach P.J. Fleck has the team back on the rise with consecutive bowl wins. Although the glory years are long gone, Minnesota is a football state and the Gophers would be a popular bet.

Minnesota and Daily Fantasy Sports

Legislative attempts to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports have gone nowhere in Minnesota.

However, major daily fantasy sports sites such as DraftKingsFanDuelYahoo!, and Fantasy Draft operate in an unregulated environment.

Is horse racing legal in Minnesota?

Yes. Minnesota offers two racetracks that are regulated by the Minnesota Racing Commission.

Canterbury Park opened in 1985 as a thoroughbred racetrack with simulcast racing.

In 2008, Minnesota added a harness horse track at Running Aces Casino and Racetrack, which features simulcast wagering at the racebook and also offers table games.

Minnesotans can also place online horse bets on races across the country through sites such as TVG, TwinSpires and BetAmerica.

Minnesota sports betting timeline

2022

Rep. Zack Stephenson followed through on his promise from late 2021 to lead sports betting effort through the House. His bill advanced through the House and is now on to the Senate.

A separate Senate effort was announced but has yet to move far in the chamber.

2021

Five sports betting bills were introduced in Minnesota legislative chambers. None of the bills received a hearing as stakeholders remained at odds.

In late 2021, Rep. Zack Stephenson announced his intention to introduce a bill during the 2022 session that appears as though it could have legs for legalization.

2020

Bills introduced in odd years carry over to even years in Minnesota, meaning the bills from Rep. Garofalo and Sen. Chamberlain were still on the books.

Chamberlain made an attempt to bring the tribes on board by proposing to amend his bill to require in-person registration for mobile wagering. The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association let it be known that all 11 tribes still opposed the bill.

The legislature adjourned May 18 without any movement on Minnesota sports betting legislation.

2019

Real efforts to legalize and regulate sports betting in Minnesota began in 2019 with two very different bills introduced in the House and Senate.

The Senate bill from Sen. Roger Chamberlain offered sports betting to Indian casinos and the state’s two racetracks, allowing for mobile sports wagering tethered to the existing properties. The Indian tribes opposed the bill.

The House bill, introduced by Rep. Pat Garofalo, tried to get tribal support by limiting sports betting to the brick-and-mortar Indian casinos. The tribes still opposed.

Minnesota sports betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in Minnesota?

No. Right now, there are no legal options for sports betting in Minnesota. That could change in the future, as state legislators appear interested in legalizing wagering.

Who would oversee sports betting in Minnesota?

Prior legislation would create a new entity titled the Minnesota Sports Wagering Commission to regulate sports betting.

Is mobile MN sports betting allowed?

Not at the moment. The 2022 House bill permits the state’s tribes to partner with online operators.

Who will be able to bet on sports in Minnesota?

The legal gambling age in Minnesota is 21.

There are some sports betting websites that say they accept bets from the United States. Are those legal options?

No. There are currently no sportsbook operators that are licensed at the federal level, which means all US sportsbooks are licensed at the state level. Any website that suggests betting from anywhere in the US is allowed is a website that operators offshore. It is not legal for those sites to accept bets from US citizens and those sites offer no protection to those who bet on them.

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