Minnesota Sports Betting

Tribal gaming operators are the big hurdle to sports betting in Minnesota

Legal Status

Sports betting is not legal in the state of Minnesota.

Legislative Progress

There has been interest in sports betting in Minnesota, but proponents have had trouble getting many of the stakeholders on board with the idea, particularly tribal gaming operators.

You would think they would want sports betting since it would increase revenue. But shortly after the Supreme Court overturned PASPA, the Minnesota Indiana Gaming Association issued a statement saying they opposed the expansion of gambling.

The association opposed legislation in 2019 that would have approved retail sports betting at horse tracks and casinos as well as mobile/online sports betting. They feared it would be the financial ruin of tribal casinos since it would lead to fewer people frequenting those casinos.

Another bill, HF 1278, proposed in 2019 would have given tribal gaming operators control over retail and mobile sports betting. But, once again, the association was opposed. Efforts in 2020, i.e., SF 1894, also met with failure.

Lawmakers tried to meet the concerns of the tribal operators in legislation proposed in 2021 (an amended form of SF 1894) by requiring in-person registration and pushing mobile sports betting off until the second year.

But tribal operators refused to get on board out of fear that doing so would hurt their casinos.

Legislators will likely try again in 2022.

Casino Participation

Casinos would have been approved for retail sports betting and online/mobile betting in most of the legislation proposed. But since the tribal gaming operators of these casinos fear that sports betting (especially mobile) would be detrimental to the casinos, they remain opposed to sports betting.

Role of the Lottery

Minnesota does have a state lottery, but there is no reason to believe it will be involved in a future sports betting industry in the state.

Professional Sports Team Involvement

There are several professional sports teams in Minnesota, but there is no reason to believe any of them will be involved in the sports betting industry once it becomes legal and launches in-state.


No bill has yet to come close enough to becoming law for licensing rules and regulations to be discussed. The most recent attempt (an amended SH 1984) would have called for retail bets to get taxed at a rate of six percent and online/mobile at eight percent.

Legislation proposed in 2019 called for the handle to get taxed at a rate of 0.5 percent, not gross revenue like every other state.

Expected Live Date

Until legislators can convince tribal gaming operators that online/mobile sports betting will not be the death of their casinos, there is little chance sports betting becomes legal anytime soon. A bill legalizing strictly retail sports betting might have a chance.

But until tribal gaming operators get on board, it just is not going to happen. Should something get passed in 2022, there is a small chance betting could go live by the end of the year. But 2023 would be more likely (if at all).

Picture Credit: Google Creative Commons Licenses, MN Indian Gaming Association Facebook

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