Is sports betting legal in Minnesota?

No. Right now there is no legal sports betting in Minnesota. That could change in 2023, though, as some legislators have already begun to push the issue forward during the new legislative session.

The future of Minnesota sports betting

Minnesota’s 2023 legislative session is underway and another sports betting bill is expected to be introduced by Rep. Zack Stephenson.

In 2022, Rep. Stephenson’s bill garnered tribal support as it gave them exclusive access to the industry. But 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.

There is hope that 2023 could be more fruitful for sports betting in the state as Stephenson’s party now controls the state Senate following the November elections.

When will online sports betting launch in Minnesota?

It could happen in 2023. With a clearer path to success in 2023 than in 2022, it is not out the realm of possibility that sports betting could be legalized in the next few months and launch either later this year or in early 2024.

What’s happening in Minnesota sports betting right now

Sportsbook apps that could launch in Minnesota

Predicting which sportsbooks could launch in Minnesota is not easy. But we can make an educated guess that the future of legal sports betting in Minnesota is likely to include a combination of the usual top operators, and brands that already have a foothold in the region.

We also know that the sports betting industry in Minnesota, if legalized, will almost certainly be exclusively run by native tribes in the state. The 19 casinos in the state are run by 11 tribes, and it is likely that some or all of those casinos would partner with sports betting operators.

HF 778, the sports betting legislation that came close to passing in 2022 in Minnesota, would have issued up to 11 mobile sports betting operator licenses. It is fair to expect a similar or identical number in future legislation.

Given the above information, here are a few potential sportsbooks that could launch in the state upon legalization:

  1. DraftKings: One of the top sportsbooks in the US, DraftKings is one of the likeliest operators to enter Minnesota given the company’s apparent desire to enter every state in the union it possibly can. DraftKings also already possesses brand power in the state because of its daily fantasy sports contests. DraftKings also happens to be the operator exclusively partnered with the Wild Rose Casino & Hotel in Emmetsburg, Iowa, right near the Minnesota-Iowa border. Many Minnesotans will already be familiar with the brand as they have to travel across state lines to place legal bets.
  2. FanDuel: Like DraftKings, FanDuel already has an established presence in Minnesota through its DFS offerings. Also like DraftKings, FanDuel operates a sportsbook at a casino near the Minnesota-Iowa border as the Diamond Jo Worth Casino in Northwood, Iowa, sits right on the border between the two states.
  3. Caesars: Minnesotans who have travelled to south to Iowa to bet on sports may be familiar with the Caesars experience as five different casinos in in the state have partnered with this popular sportsbook – more than any other operator in Iowa. Another one of the most popular sportsbooks across the country, users can expect to find a full lineup of promotions and bonuses as well as competitive odds if this book enters MN.
  4. BetMGM: One of the biggest name in gambling and sports betting in the US, BetMGM is a logical fit for Minnesota and will likely be attracted to entering a market with a sizeable population and four major professional sports teams. BetMGM is also known for its deep set of sports and betting options.
  5. BetFred: There is a third casino that sits right near the border between Minnesota and Iowa, and it contains a book run by BetFred. There may again be some familiarity for Minnesotans with this brand which operators two other sportsbooks in Iowa as well.

Legal betting options in Minnesota

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.

There are, however, a few other ways Minnesotans can gamble legally in the state:

Daily Fantasy Sports

DFS is no explicitly legal or illegal in Minnesota as legislative attempts to legalize and regulate daily fantasy sports have gone nowhere.

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

Horse racing

Horse racing is legal in Minnesota. 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.

Lottery

The Minnesota Lottery offers the standard menu of lotto games, scratchers, print-n-play games and raffles. Minnesotans can also participate in national lotteries such as Powerball and Mega Millions.

Latest Minnesota sports betting news

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.

The Twins won the American League Central division title in 2019 and 2020, but failed to advance passed the first round in either season.

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

While the Wild don’t have the history of the Vikings or Twins, they have made the playoffs in nine of the last ten seasons. However, they only won a round in two of those nine appearances.

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 bowl wins in three of the last four seasons. Although the glory years are long gone, Minnesota is a football state and the Gophers would be a popular bet if betting on college sports is eventually allowed.

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 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.

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 proposed 2022 House bill permitted the state’s tribes to partner with online operators, and it remains to be seen what the new legislation will contain.

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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