A Complete Overview of Online Gambling in Minnesota

Minnesota has been gambling for centuries, but the first laws about any sort of gambling arrived in 1945 with the legalization of charity bingo and surprisingly, mechanical slot machines. A couple of years later the latter was made illegal, but in 1972, the state lottery was created and started printing tickets. The 70s were a rather sad decade for Minnesota gambling-wise, since all Minnesotans had was bingo and lottery.

Then, in 1981 things began to change. The first high-stakes bingo halls were built on Native American reservations, which set off a series of events that would eventually lead to the state’s current gambling situation with dozens of tribal casinos all over the map. Pari-mutuel betting was illegal at the time, so in 1983, the state moved to legalize it, with the first racetracks opening a couple of years later. Also, roulette and craps have never been legal in Minnesota and are not present in any of the casinos in this state.

Simultaneously, video gaming was starting to get popular in Native American bingo casinos, which prompted the state to finally cave in and legalize the activity. Also, in 1989 simulcast off-track betting was legalized and people were allowed to bet on horse races across the country. Finally in 2012, electronic pull-tabs were introduced to pay for a new football stadium, but failed in shame, raising no money and gaining a bad reputation. Additionally, the Minnesota Lottery is no longer permitted to sell tickets through the internet, while daily fantasy sports and esports companies have declared that their activities are within the legal system and invited Minnesotans to join their websites.

However, that’s where the fun stops. Online gambling is illegal in Minnesota and will likely continue to be illegal. Land-based tribal casinos completely dominate the gambling market in this state and since there’s so many, this is unlikely to change soon.

Minnesota Gambling Overview:

  • Year Minnesota regulated offline and online gambling: 1981 for offline gambling, online gambling is unregulated but illegal.
  • Minnesota gambling age: 18 but 21 in places that serve alcohol.
  • Legal online casino games in Minnesota: N/A
  • Number of commercial casinos: N/A
  • Number of tribal casinos: 21
  • Top online casinos Minnesota-wide: N/A

Gambling in Minnesota: What’s Legal?

Minnesota has developed a lax approach towards gambling. While there are no commercial casinos, there are 21 tribal casinos at the moment and more are opening every year. Sports betting is very much illegal and has been pursued by the Minnesota government all the way to Costa Rica in various busts. While their lottery doesn’t sell tickets on the internet, it functions in every other way, including multi-state lotteries. Horse racing is legal at one of the two licensed racetracks. You can bet on the races with pari-mutuel betting or through simulcast.

Social gaming is specifically excluded from their legal system and the law states that as long as nobody makes more than $200 per night and nobody is raking the pot or profiting from hosting the game, it is fully legal. Tribal gaming is the basis of all Minnesotan modern gambling and is, of course, legal. Smoking is banned in card clubs, but this ban doesn’t apply to tribal casinos. Try your luck at these casinos in Minnesota:

Name Address Opening hours Games Dress code Phone number Website
Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack 15201 Zurich St, Columbus 24/7 Race track, table games N/A +1 651-925-4600 www.runaces.com
Treasure Island Resort & Casino 5734 Sturgeon Lake Road, Welch 24/7 2200 slots, table games N/A +1 800-222-7077 www.ticasino.com
Grand Casino 777 Grand Avenue


24/7 1800 slots, table games, video gambling N/A 800-626-5825 grandcasinomn.com

Online Casinos in Minnesota: What You Should Know

As a typical moderate state, Minnesota doesn’t allow online gambling and there’s no indication it will any time soon. While offshore online casinos will accept players from the state, their government has explicitly stated that anything not specified as legal is in fact, illegal, including online gambling. You may continue at your own risk or go to one of the freer gambling states near you.

Are Minnesota Online Casinos Legal for Non-Minnesota Residents?

  • N/A

What types of games do Minnesota online casinos have available?

  • N/A

Can I play online casino in Minnesota if I don’t live there?

  • N/A

Do offshore online casinos operate in Minnesota?

  • Yes, they do!

How to Choose the Best Online Casino in Minnesota

Unfortunately, at the moment you can only choose an offline, land-based tribal casino in Minnesota. Online casinos are banned from operating in the state, but out-of-state casinos may accept Minnesotan players. If you want to play online you’ll have to go to Vegas, Pennsylvania, Delaware or New Jersey.

The Bottom Line on Minnesota Online Gambling

Minnesota has come a long way from the silence on the topic of gambling years ago, but they still have a lot to process and legalize. The tribal casinos are a landmark to the persistence of Native Americans to open their own businesses and they have left a clear mark on the gambling landscape in the Midwest.