As it stands, there is daily fantasy sports operational in Minnesota, though it hasn't been technically approved by the state legislature. A bill to define DFS as a game of skill was unexpectedly shot down in April 2018, leaving the active operators in a state of limbo. However, given the clear desire to regulate, it Minnesota daily fantasy sites could be legalized in 2019 and players are still free to play sites like FanDuel and DraftKings without any fear of repercussions.
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Gambling in Minnesota is broken down into four main categories: charitable gambling (such as pull-tabs, raffles and bingo), the Minnesota Lottery, pari-mutuel betting on horse racing, and tribal gaming. In addition to these betting provisions, various card games, including poker, can be played for small stakes (typically $200 or less).
As you can see, the above categories cover a range of possibilities and, essentially, means that Minnesota is a gambling-friendly state. However, it’s important to note that legislation didn’t start until 1945. Being something of a late starter means that the North Star State hasn’t kept pace with technology. In other words, online gambling in Minnesota is illegal at this point in time. However, given that the state has been progressive in other areas over the last century, there’s a possibility that lawmakers will want to continue this momentum and get connected.
In fact, when you look through the list of recent innovations such as electronic betting and online lotteries, there’s clearly a desire to move with the times. So, even though Minnesota online gambling sites aren’t legal right now, the evidence suggests a change could be inevitable.
Despite allowing tribal casino gaming, Minnesota online casinos could be a long way off. Indeed, when you look at the current set up, tribal casinos have a fairly limited scope in terms of gaming options. What’s more, state legislation currently says the following:
"Online sports betting and online casinos that take your money and offer prizes via the web are illegal in Minnesota. Not only is it a crime to participate, there are consumer protection concerns as well.”
Based on this, it’s not clear when online casinos in Minnesota will become a reality.
Although online poker in Minnesota is in the same boat as casino gaming, the outlook may be slightly more positive. Firs, poker has its own legal standing within the state’s constitution. Given that there is at least some acknowledgment that card games are a separate entity to casino games, there’s a chance online poker legislation will happen at some point. Indeed, if advocates can argue it’s a game of skill, Minnesota online poker sites could become a reality in the future.
In April 2018, a draft bill was submitted for review and Rep. Pat Garofalo quickly became one of its chief supporters. What’s interesting about the bill is that it not only pushed for legal sports betting in Minnesota, it contained a clause for mobile wagers. Unfortunately, the legislature adjourned in May and a call to action wasn’t attached to the bill. However, given the initial support, it’s likely a new bill will be introduced in 2019, which could mean the start of offline and online sports betting in Minnesota.