Minnesota Sports Betting

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Minnesota sports betting will not go live until at least 2023 with the Minnesota Senate having adjourned for the year, and the House expected to follow suit.

There are 40 in-state casinos in Minnesota, all of which are run by the Native American nations local to this state. The state is finally seeing some momentum. In the meantime, many Minnesota residents continue to wager on their favorite sporting activities. Many of them currently hop the border to Iowa, contributing to the state’s revenue.

Let’s break down everything you need to know about legal sports betting in Minnesota and explore how the discussion could evolve for an eventual launch in 2022.

Minnesota Sports Betting Recent Updates

  • October 17, 2022:

    Minnesotans may not have the chance to bet for the foreseeable future, but their southern counterparts in Iowa are enjoying a major spike in sports betting. Iowa reported over $200 million in sports wagers for the month of September, a 60% jump from August.

  • April 28, 2022:

    A Minnesota sports betting bill is moving to the House. Sports betting could be legal in the state within the next year.

  • March 15, 2022:

    Minnesota took a step closer to legalizing sports betting in mid-March when the House State Finance and Government Elections Committee voted 7-5 to approve House File 778.  The next stop for the bill is the House Judiciary Committee.

     

  • January 26, 2022:

    The Minnesota state legislature will reconvene January 31, and some state representatives are optimistic they can legalize sports betting in the state.

  • September 9, 2021:

    Rep. Garofalo continues to push for legal sports betting in Minnesota.

  • February 4, 2021:

    Two bills that would have tethered retail sports betting to tribal casinos and racetracks fail before reaching the legislative floor.

  • March 1, 2020:

    Sen. Chamberlain files a new version of the Minnesota Sports Wagering Regulation and Taxation Bill, but it does not proceed to debate.

Top Sports Betting Sites

It’s difficult to say which sports betting sites may eventually make it to Minnesota, as there is no provisional legislation currently on the table about tethering, operator limitations, and so on.

Despite this, we expect several big names in mobile sports betting to apply for licensure if and when Minnesota ever legalizes this activity. Some of the most likely sports betting sites to launch in Minnesota sometime in the future include:

  • DraftKings: a giant in the mobile sports betting industry thanks to its well-developed app, excellent market depth and variety, and competitive odds. It might be in prime position to move into Minnesota as it is already live in Iowa: arguably Minnesota’s biggest competitor for sports betting revenue.
  • BetMGM: a competitive mobile sportsbook with excellent live betting, a great loyalty program, and a deposit match bonus to bring first-time sports bettors to the action.
  • Caesars: recently acquired William Hill and is looking to expand its market dominance. Caesars also offers attractive odds, good betting markets, and a worthwhile loyalty program that rewards you for using the app each day.
  • FanDuel: a national market leader for sports betting overall and DraftKings’ primary rival. FanDuel is also a likely pick for Minnesota sports bettors due to its excellent app quality and generous opening bonus (a risk-free bet worth up to $1,000).
  • PointsBet: a unique sports betting app with a special wagering type you can’t find anywhere else. Though it is originally from Australia, PointsBet is looking to expand its American influence, and Minnesota could be the perfect opportunity to do so.

But keep in mind that these are all just speculated operators. The final list of legal sportsbooks in Minnesota could change significantly over the coming months and years.

Minnesota Legal Sportsbooks

Although legal sportsbooks are still some ways away for Minnesota residents, giving your money or personal information to offshore and/or illegal betting sites is never a good idea.

Simply put, Minnesota legal sportsbooks will have:

  • Excellent digital security
  • Great betting odds since they’ll use official league data
  • Good deposit and withdrawal methods
  • Well-designed mobile apps
  • And more

In contrast, offshore and illegal betting sites will not use good digital security. They may decide to steal your personal information or funds or allow cybercriminals access to your personal information through their laziness.

On top of that, illegal betting sites never have quality betting action or good betting lines with big opportunities for profit. Bottom line: legal sportsbooks in Minnesota will be the best choice by far when they finally arrive.

Minnesota Sports Betting Revenue

Minnesota’s lack of sports betting legalization has confused commentators for some time, in no small part because of the revenue the state government is missing out on.

For example, Iowa – the nearest state with legal sports betting for many Minnesota residents – has enjoyed excellent sports betting revenue over the last few years. Official data indicates that Iowa saw a particularly profitable month in March 2021, earning $13.45 million in revenue. But Iowa’s sports betting revenue usually hovers around $6-$8 million throughout the rest of the year.

This is likely the kind of revenue Minnesota’s state government could expect if it launched legal sports betting in the near future. Time will tell whether Minnesota’s potential sports betting market will grow to rival Iowa’s or if it’ll be too little, too late.

How Minnesota Compares To Other States

Minnesota isn’t that far off compared to other states with Native American tribes that have a monopoly on gambling activities. For example, West Virginia, North Carolina, and Florida have all been slow-coming with their legal sportsbook markets in large part because of pushback from local Native American tribes.

For now, Minnesota fares pretty poorly compared to states with legal sports betting. As sports betting becomes a success across the country, however, Native American tribes may decide to change their stance on taking a hard line against the state legislature. They may eventually opt for a more diplomatic solution.

Every year without a legal sports betting market means another year of lost revenue for Minnesota lawmakers and government initiatives.

Minnesota Betting Successes And Failures

Minnesota Sports Betting Successes

At the moment, Minnesota doesn’t have any sports betting successes to speak of. The industry has repeatedly failed to launch even though several bills have been brought to the floor.

Where Could Minnesota Improve Online Gambling?

On the flip side, Minnesota could improve online gambling in a number of key ways.

For starters, the state government could work with the Native American tribes to come up with an agreement that benefits all parties involved and launch legal sports betting. Even retail-only sports betting would be an improvement over the total lack of betting that Minnesota residents currently have to put up with.

However, Minnesota would also improve online gambling by writing and passing legislation for online casino games are online poker. These developments are probably some ways away. The Minnesota state government may want to see how sports betting turns out before legalizing other online gaming activities.

Legalization Effort In Minnesota

The legalization effort in Minnesota has been a long story of constant failures and setbacks, but a glimmer of hope emerged early in 2022.

Minnesota took a step closer to legalizing sports betting in mid-March when the House State Finance and Government Elections Committee voted 7-5 to approve House File 778.  The next stop for the bill is the House Judiciary Committee.

The legislation, which is making its way through various committees in the Minnesota legislature, would put tribal interests in charge of sports betting and establish a sports wagering commission.

The legalization effort largely began in 2018, when Minnesota Rep. Pat Garofalo tried to circulate a sports betting bill, which was formally introduced in 2019. This bill would have limited sports betting to retail operations and only allowed mobile sports betting for users who are on-site at local casinos. It also included a 0.5% tax on sports betting handles as opposed to raw revenue.

Senator Roger Chamberlain, another sports betting proponent, filed a sports betting regulation and taxation bill in the Senate in the same year. It had a few major differences, such as allowing sports betting at racetracks, allowing mobile wagering throughout Minnesota, and taxing revenue at a rate of 6.75%.

Unfortunately, the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association – the collective of Native American tribes in this state – said no to both bills. Chamberlain filed another version of his bill in 2020, which required in-person registration, but it died once again without progressing far up the legislative ladder thanks to pushback from the tribes once more.

Since the tribal-state compacts in Minnesota grant the Native American tribes nearly unilateral authority to do this, there’s no real way for the state government to force online sports betting to pass without their agreement.

Timeline Of Minnesota Sports Betting

  • 2018 – Rep. Pat Garofalo circulates a draft sports betting bill
  • 2019 – Rep. Garofalo introduces the Safe and Regulated Sports Gambling Act of 2019, which limits sports betting to retail operations. The bill does not pass
  • 2019 – Sen. Chamberlain files the Sports Wagering Regulation and Taxation Bill in the Minnesota Senate, but it also dies thanks to the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association
  • 2020 – Sen. Chamberlain files a new version of the above bill, but it also dies without reaching a vote
  • 2022 – Minnesota took a step closer to legalizing sports betting in mid-March when the House State Finance and Government Elections Committee voted 7-5 to approve House File 778.  The next stop for the bill is the House Judiciary Committee.

Minnesota Teams

It’s a shame that mobile sports betting isn’t legal in Minnesota quite yet, as the state is home to several professional and college sports teams that would receive immediate support from their loyal fans.

Minnesota Professional Sports Teams

If and when sports betting comes to Minnesota, expect to be able to put money down on major Minnesota professional sports teams like the:

  • MLB Minnesota Twins
  • MLS Minnesota United FC
  • NFL Minnesota Vikings
  • NBA Minnesota Timberwolves
  • NHL Minnesota Wild
  • WNBA Minnesota Lynx

The Minnesota Vikings and Minnesota Timberwolves have emerged as major playoff contenders after stellar offseasons. The Vikings hired head coach Kevin O’Connell and returned a veteran roster with several upgrades. Of course, the Timberwolves one-upped the Vikings after trading for star center Rudy Gobert shortly after their own playoff appearance.

Minnesota College Sports Teams

Minnesota is also home to five NCAA Division I teams, including the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers. It’s safe to say that any legal sports betting law would include provisions for college sports betting, at least on teams from out of state.

Other Sports To Bet On In Minnesota

Alongside major American sports, Minnesota sportsbooks may also allow future sports bettors to put their money down on international sporting events like European soccer, Australian rules football, rugby, and more. Niche sporting activities like darts, or auto racing markets for NASCAR races, could also pop up depending on how the legislation is drawn up and which sportsbooks enter the market.

How To Place A Bet In Minnesota

At the moment, you can’t place any bet legally in Minnesota. If you want to place a legal bet, you first have to hop in your car, then drive across the border to Iowa to download an Iowa sportsbook app.

But when legal sports betting comes to Minnesota, we expect the process to look something like this:

  • Choose your sportsbook of preference, then download it to your device of choice
  • Once downloaded, the sportsbook should install automatically
  • You should then be able to make your account by providing some pieces of personal information like your Social Security number and date of birth
  • After your identity is verified, you’ll be able to fund your account using several remote methods like credit or debit card transfers, bank wire transfers, and so on
  • After a deposit, you can place a bet and enjoy mobile sports betting in Minnesota

It’s highly unlikely that Minnesota’s government will require you to visit a partnered casino to complete the registration process in person. Registration will probably be completable remotely, although each mobile app may have a brick-and-mortar partner.

Keep an eye on this page from time to time for updates on the sports betting situation as it evolves.

Minnesota Sports Betting FAQs

Is online sports betting legal in Minnesota?

No. However, several Minnesota Representatives and Senators are continuing to push for legal sports betting over the next few years.

Is it safe to use an online sportsbook app?

Once it is fully licensed and legalized, yes. If an online sportsbook app isn’t licensed by its home state, you should not use it.

Do I need to be a resident of Minnesota to bet online?

Once Minnesota legalizes sports betting, yes.  

Who regulates online sportsbook apps in Minnesota?

Minnesota will likely appoint a special committee or gaming department to regulate online sportsbook apps.

How old will I have to be to bet online in Minnesota?

You’ll need to be 21 or older to bet online in Minnesota.

What sports and events will I be able to bet on in Minnesota?

You’ll likely be able to bet on major American sports and international sports depending on the sportsbook platform you choose.

About the Author
Amber Hoffman

Amber Hoffman

Amber is the Managing Editor of Gaming Today. She writes for a variety of websites in diverse industries, including gaming and travel and is a fan of international football (not "soccer") and Gaelic sports.

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