Minnesota Casinos, Gambling, and Law Regulations: An Overview

In Minnesota, gambling was introduced quite late, starting with Bingo in 1945, which was only accessible through charities. By 1978, the scope of gambling expanded to include options like raffles, paddlewheels, and tip boards. In 1981, just three years later, pull-tabs were added to the approved list of gambling forms in Minnesota.

While many states started their gambling adventure with horse racing, this wasn’t the case with the North Star State. A constitutional amendment pushed forward the legislation of the horse racing industry in 1982 (which got its legal framework in 1983) and caused the forming of the Minnesota Racing Commission.

An attempt to legalize off-track betting was made in 1989; it went through but didn’t last for long. It was ruled unconstitutional after only three years. Minnesota tried to get back to off-track betting once again in 1994, yet the suggestion didn’t impress voters.

Lottery made its way through legislation with the other forms of gambling in 1988. Around this time, the tribal casinos were a rising star in gambling as well. Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act that same year and allowed tribal lands to regulate casino-style gambling activities. The following year, together with off-track betting, seven tribal casinos started offering slot games and video poker, joined by blackjack in 1991.

The last form of gambling that joined the scene were card clubs that served as the last hope for the racetracks that were not in operation anymore. A card club license enabled tracks like Canterbury Park to offer betting on specific card games.

In this text, we will discuss Minnesota gambling laws and the current status of online gambling in the state. Also, you will find a few specific options regarding gambling facilities so, if you are interested, read on.

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Gambling Laws in Minnesota — The Law Overview

So far, we have covered a brief history of gambling in Minnesota from the day the first form of gambling was legalized. Now is the time to clarify gambling laws and organizations in charge of regulating gambling activities.

The omnipotent regulating body for gambling in the North Star State is the Alcohol, and Gambling Enforcement Division of Minnesota Department of Public Safety (DPS-AGED). This department deals with investigating crimes related to illegal gambling. Another duty of AGED is to license and regulate slot machines and other gambling devices, and also to monitor all the gambling establishments in the name of the state.

For licensing and regulating lawful charitable gambling in Minnesota, the state created the Gambling Control Board (GCB). This particular organization takes care of bingo, raffles, pull tabs, paddle wheels, or tip boards, as well as of the modus operandi of the charitable organizations offering these games.

There is the Minnesota Racing Commission (MRC) that oversees the all-time favorite horse racing, including the tracks that also offer card rooms. Finally, the Minnesota State Lottery regulates everything related to lottery, from multi-state games to scratch-off cards.

As we can see, all different forms of gambling in Minnesota have a dedicated organization that sets the rules and ensures the same are followed at any point in time. Also, Minnesota laws require a gambling activity to consist of three elements: consideration, chance, and prize. To be considered gambling, an activity must include all these elements.

Among Minnesota Statutes, you can find all the documents essential for regulating gambling in the state, including the ones about gambling enforcement. Additionally, the Minnesota Gambling Control Board published the in-depth information on lawful gambling rules regarding every form of gambling available to the residents of the state.

What Forms of Gambling Are Allowed in Minnesota?

Minnesota allows several forms of gambling at the moment. The Minnesota Lottery is one of those forms which enables you to buy scratch-off tickets or take part in multi-state lotteries like Powerball.

There is pari-mutuel betting on horse races which is available at racetracks. Furthermore, some racetracks further developed and included card clubs into their offer. In this way, they managed to stay with their head above the water, due to card games that are allowed in card clubs’ premises.

Charitable gambling is also an option in Minnesota and includes a few different games: bingo, raffles, pull-tabs, paddlewheels, and tip boards.

Yet, casinos are usually the main point of interest for any regular bettor. In Minnesota, the only type of casinos you can find is the tribal casino, but they do not differ much from the standard land-based casinos. Here you will find games like video poker, slots, blackjack, and others.

Although it does offer several forms of land-based gambling options, Minnesota is quite narrow-minded when it comes to online gambling. In this state, online gambling is not officially legalized in any way.

There were times when residents of Minnesota could enjoy off-track betting and online lottery, but that’s not the case anymore, at least by law. Some sites you can find on the Internet will still accept your bets on horse races, but they probably won’t include the races held at Minnesota racetracks.

Daily Fantasy Sports are practiced by some residents through several popular gambling operators, although not officially legal by law.

However, there is nothing in the books that specifically mentions offshore gambling sites, which is why people from Minnesota enjoy casino games through gambling operators that are based out of the state and accept US players. The residents of Minnesota hope something will change soon regarding the legality of online gambling in the state, as in this way they cannot completely relax when gambling online.

Where to Gamble in Minnesota?

Canterbury Park

Canterbury Park is a perfect blend between a horse-racing track and a casino. It is the most visited establishment during summer, as the time from May to September is filled with races. Moreover, when there are no races, there is something else to offer you the best possible entertainment.

This racetrack also includes a card club from the 1990s. Therefore, if you are a poker lover, this is an ideal place for you. The downside is the lack of accommodation at the place itself, but they were kind enough to recommend some of the closest options for you. You will find Canterbury Park at 1100 Canterbury Rd, Shakopee, MN 55379.

Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack

If you want to have it all, this place is worth visiting. As you can see in the name itself, Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack will always have something to offer regardless of your gaming preferences. If you get bored of betting on horses and playing blackjack, you can check the entertainment program and laugh out loud watching a live comedy show. The last thing left to do is try something delicious made from locally grown fresh ingredients in the restaurant. See all this for yourself by visiting Running Aces Casino, Hotel & Racetrack at 15215 Running Aces Blvd, Columbus, MN 55025.

Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort

This casino is on our list due to the votes of people who have been regularly visiting it. Players love it because it offers so many dining options and great accommodation for a reasonable price. You can enjoy various gaming options here with the friendliest of staff you’ll come across. If you want to relax after a busy day or night, jump into the pool or a hot tub and let your mind wander. Play your favorite games 24/7 at 5616 Prairies Edge Ln, Granite Falls, MN 56241.


Are casinos legal in Minnesota?

Minnesota is a state where the only casino establishments allowed are the tribal ones where you can play poker and blackjack.

Is online gambling legal in Minnesota?

No, if we look from the legal perspective, no form of online gambling is officially allowed in Minnesota.

What games can you gamble on in Minnesota?

Several forms of gambling are licensed in Minnesota. There is charitable gambling, including bingo, raffles, pull-tabs, paddlewheels, and tip boards. Also, pari-mutuel betting on horse races, the state Lottery, and tribal casinos are all on the list of legal gambling activities.

What is the legal gambling age for players in Minnesota?

To be permitted to take part in any gambling activity in Minnesota, you need to be at least 18. However, Minnesota casinos that serve alcohol may set a limit for a minimum gambling age of 21 years.

Who regulates legal forms of gambling in Minnesota?

Several different authorities are in charge of gambling in Minnesota. There is the Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division of the Minnesota Department of Public Safety as a main regulating body. However, all forms of gambling that are considered legal in Minnesota have the authority dedicated to creating rules and regulations specific to it. That’s why there is the Gambling Control Board, Minnesota Racing Commission, and Minnesota State Lottery, each of them in charge of a specific gambling form.