Minnesota Sports Betting

Lawmakers have expressed an interest in legalizing Minnesota sports betting for the past three years but wagering is not yet allowed.

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.

Until the tribes can be convinced that MN sports betting will help and not hurt their casinos, Minnesota will be the Land of 10,000 Lakes but zero legal sports betting options.

The future of Minnesota sports betting

Sports betting is 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.

Melanie Benjamin, chief executive of the Mille Lacs Band of Obijwe Indians in Minnesota, indicated that, with the small margins of MN sports betting, she didn’t see a lot of economic benefit in the activity. She proposed that Minnesota tribes wait a year or so and see how sports wagering impacts tribes in other states.

As more tribes in other states come on board with sports betting and show that sports betting can accentuate tribal gaming, tribes are likely to come around and allow legal sports betting in Minnesota.

When will online sports betting launch in Minnesota?

Online sports betting was part of the bill considered in the Minnesota Senate in 2020. However, the House bill limited wagering to Indian casino properties. And even that couldn’t get tribal support.

Sen. Roger Chamberlain, the Senate bill’s sponsor, tried to appease tribal concerns about mobile wagering by requiring Minnesotans to register for their accounts in person.

There are some concerns about the legality of Indian casinos offering online sports betting outside the boundaries of tribal lands.

A bill in the US Congress seeks to clarify that Indian casinos can participate in online betting. That would go a long way to bringing mobile sports wagering to Minnesota.

Recent Minnesota sports betting news

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

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, but that’s still up for discussion. The bill considered in the Senate in 2020 permitted mobile sports wagering with in-person registration, while the House bill limited sports betting to on-site at Minnesota Indian casinos.

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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