Last updated: October 3, 2022.
Lawmakers have expressed an interest in legalizing Minnesota sports betting for the past three years but wagering is not yet allowed. Legislators were eager for a new push in 2022, but a key disagreement will keep Minnesotans waiting.
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 changed its tune heading into the 2022 session and worked with legislators to legalize sports betting. A House bill would have given the tribes sports betting exclusivity, but a Senate amendment added two horse racing tracks – a deal-breaker for the tribes. The legislature adjourned without passing a bill, meaning Minnesota will wait until at least 2023 for sports betting.
The future of Minnesota sports betting
The 2022 Minnesota legislative session started off promising with sports betting as Rep. Zack Stephenson took a bill through the House. His bill garnered tribal support as it gave them exclusive access to the industry.
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.
The tribes turned on the proposal once it hit the Senate and a committee added two horse racing tracks to the bill. The tribes wrote an opposition letter and Gov. Tim Walz said he would not sign a bill if the tribes were not on board. The Senate adjourned for the session without taking action on the bill.
When will online sports betting launch in Minnesota?
Both the House and Senate sports betting bills in 2022 included mobile betting.
Despite a promising push by the House bill, the lawmakers could not come to an agreement on sports betting. Now, the state will wait for at least another year until legalized sports betting is a reality.
Recent Minnesota sports betting news
What’s happening in Minnesota sports betting right now
- October 3, 2022 — The Minnesota Alliance on Problem Gambling reminded Minnesotans to remain aware of gambling addictions as they travel to neighboring states for sports betting. Sports betting legalization will likely remain a hot topic in the state’s legislature next session.
- September 19, 2022 — Nearly 50% of Minnesotans want MN sports betting to be legalized, according to a new poll by the Star Tribune, MPR News and Kare 11. The results were a survey of 800 residents and has a 3.5% error margin, according to the media partners.
- September 2, 2022 — Despite legislator speculation a special session could take place with sports betting discussed this summer, it appears the issue is still sidelined. The future of Minnesota sports betting is still in the air, though an LSR source says it could be a promising situation next year.
- August 24, 2022 — South Dakota maintains its retail-only sports betting model in Deadwood, far from the border of Minnesota. Still, as the NFL season approaches the Sioux Falls Argus Leader reports South Dakota sportsbooks have taken $2.1 million in football bets.
- August 16, 2022 — The MinnPost dove into what it would take for Minnesota to legalize sports betting in the future. The article’s conclusion? The tribes and horse racing tracks need to compromise.
- August 9, 2022 — Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers and the Lac Courte Oreilles Band of Lake Superior Chippewa signed a new compact amendment to allow for sports betting at its Sevenwinds Casino. The tribe joins the Oneida Nation, St. Croix Chippewa and Forest County Potawatomi as tribes with state compacts for sports betting in Wisconsin.
- August 5, 2022 — The Minnesota primary elections are August 9, which could set up a run to a special session later in the month. Earlier in the year, a Sen. Karla Bigham told LSR that a special session could include continued talks on sports betting.
- July 26, 2022 — The future of one of Minnesota‘s horse racing tracks, Canterbury Park, is up in the air. An agreement between the track and the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community which helped it explode to national prominence is set to expire in December, but negotiations to extend the deal are ongoing.
- July 19, 2022 — While Minnesota waits for legalized sports betting, Iowa continues to add to its betting options. The state’s sportsbooks can now offer betting on the American Cornhole League, as well as the coin toss prior to football games.
- July 9, 2022 — Minnesota Sen. Karla Bigham said there could be a special session in August following the state’s primary elections. Sports betting could be a topic discussed.
- June 30, 2022 — A new Iowa law allows three casinos to keep horse betting simulcasts. Five Iowa casinos offer pari-mutuel bets.
- June 17, 2022 — Iowa Gov. Kim Reynolds signed new gambling legislation that creates new sports betting opportunities. As of July 1, bettors in Iowa can wager on pro sports drafts and awards, including the Cy Young Award, Heisman Trophy and Super Bowl MVP.
- June 15, 2022 — With Minnesota still on the sidelines of legalized sports betting after this year’s legislative session, Iowa continues to grow its handle. In May, Iowans wagered $147.9 million, bringing its all-time total to $3.9 billion.
- May 22, 2022 — The Minnesota legislature adjourned at its deadline without coming to an agreement on sports betting. While a short special session could take place, sports betting would likely not be a topic of discussion.
- 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.
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 DraftKings, FanDuel, Yahoo!, 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.
Minnesota sports betting timeline
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 but ran into a significant issue in the Senate. The Senate added an amendment to include two horse racing tracks, which was a deal-breaker for the House.
A separate Senate effort did not move.
Lawmakers adjourned the session without coming to an agreement, meaning sports betting will wait until at least 2023.
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.
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.
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.
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 permited 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.