Minnesota Gambling Laws – The Thrive of Indian Casinos

Gambling in Minnesota was popular long before its actual legislation, which was relatively soon – in the 20th century. Gambling was popular among the first colonialists in the 1800s. Still, it remained banned due to the Civil War and the national prohibition of gambling and alcohol in the early years of the 20th century. In the last decades of the same century, the state of Minnesota gambling laws finally changed and allowed the existence of most casino games, all of that thanks to the influence of the local Native American society.
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Gambling Laws in Minnesota – How It All Started?

Thanks to the Mississippi river, gambling was popular in Minnesota even in the 19th century. Back then, this was one of the main places where railroad workers, soldiers and loggers spent most of their earnings. Some of the games preferred at that time are still trending, like poker, blackjack, roulette, or dice.

Yes, but gambling became prohibited due to the strong opposition in the state and the territorial legislature in 1851. This prohibition included all types of lotteries because at that time, they were widely used by corrupted officials and their personal goals. These years mark the American revolution and the beginning of the Civil War, which immobilized the continent for over four years.

As you can guess, despite the changes in the gambling laws in Minnesota, illegal gambling was an issue the whole time. As the former Minnesota House of Representative’s researcher John Williams said: “the urge of gambling is probably older than written history”, and this is not far from the truth. After publishing the book “Games of the North American Indians” in 1907, it became clear that local American tribes (over 220+) have their own games, some of which are related to gambling, others to rituals and traditions, some to both.

Modern Slot Machine with Old School Design

The State of Minnesota Gambling Laws of The Last Century

The 20th century brought many innovations to the world that changed it in roots. Don’t forget that the history of Las Vegas as a world capital of gambling begins exactly in 1905. However, slot machines were invented in the last decades of the 19th century. They became trendy precisely in the 20th century. In the beginning, they were not regulated at all, and people were able to find such in every bar or establishment for entertainment. Another top trending gambling game at the time was bingo.

First, it became popular in Europe in the 1920s, and then it quickly became a new trend in the USA in the 1930s. All this brought the necessity of changes in the state of Minnesota gambling laws, and regulation was needed that was crystal clear. They remained unregulated until the end of the Second World War, when several gambling laws in Minnesota were changed. In 1945, the legalization of bingo halls happened, and establishments where you can play the game were created. In 1946, the state of Minnesota put over 8000 slot machines in the state under federal taxation.

The governor of Minnesota at that time was decided to end the slot machine mania by increasing taxes and by this way reducing the total number of machines in the state. For less than five years, he was able to clear out almost all slots. The following decades are known as the crime age, and the thrive of gambling crime syndicates in the USA.

Many Bingo Numbers Laying On a Table

The following more significant change in the Minnesota gambling laws was made in 1963 when private gambling in small groups was allowed. In 1967, bingo fell under federal taxation, but that doesn’t change anything because its popularity was not what it was 30 years before. 1972 was the year when the first official state lottery proposal was introduced. It showed how much can the state benefit from it and how the money could be used for different causes.

Yes, but the gambling laws in Minnesota stayed the same due to the conservative thinking of the state officials at the time. In the following decade, the aforementioned bingo halls changed the subject of their services. Thanks to the charity gambling legalizations and expansion of the gaming variety by adding paddlewheels and raffles to the list of legal plays in 1981.

How Native Americans Helped for the Change of MN Gambling Laws

This is the year that marks the beginning of the Minnesota gambling laws revolution and the recognition of Native American rights in the state. In 1982, the lottery bill finally passed, but that was not all. Horse racing betting became available in the state too. Of course, this brought the need for more strict control and the assembling of the Minnesota Racing Commission in 1983. Shortly after, in 1985, the first racetrack opened doors in Shakopee.

Meanwhile, in 1984, charitable gambling was also legislated, and the Charitable Gambling Control Board, now known as Gambling Control Board, was assembled. For less than five years, the industry hit skyrocket revenues that brought a lot of money to the state reserve. In 1988 the state finally decided to create its own lottery. It took two years until all the gambling laws in Minnesota regarding lottery games were reviewed.

Native American Graffiti on The Street

However, the official legislation happened in 1989, while the first ticket was sold in 1990. The true revolution of gambling in Minnesota occurred in 1987 when the state wall gave complete control to Native Americans and their lands, including gambling. This is how Indian casinos became the best places to gamble in the state. This created a bit of tension among the state officials and showed the apparent need for more clear rules – the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988. A year later, the negotiations between the tribes and the state government started.

They reached an agreement in 1991. Native American gambling establishments were allowed to provide video games of chance and blackjack. In 1992, there were already over ten casinos offering digital gambling machines. With the end of the millennium came the new way of thinking and the acceptance of card games and other gambling venues.

A Man Gambling Online On His Laptop

Minnessota Gambling Laws Today

Nowadays, Minnesota is considered one of the gambling-friendly states where you can enjoy most gambling varieties. In fact, Minnesota has exceptionally well-organized statistics regarding gambling popularity across the different age groups. In 2010, it became clear that over 75% of the state citizens are wagering on at least one type of gambling.

The most preferred type of gambling appeared to be the state lottery, followed by raffles and Indian casinos. In contrast, the age of gamblers seems to be mainly between 24 and 65. People below or above that age are less likely to participate in any gambling activities. The same statistics show that the resistance towards gambling in Minnesota was way more substantial in the 90s and slowly weakened with the decades.

As you can see from the element above, most types of gambling are permitted by the state of Minnesota gambling laws but not all. Apart from the online casinos and online gambling platforms in general, it appears that sports betting is also illegal in the state. This doesn’t mean that you cannot gamble or bet on websites based offshore. It means that you cannot organize such types of gambling on the territory of the state of Minnesota. More about the online casinos available in Minnesota you will find in the following paragraph.

Laws On Online Gambling In Minnesota

Minnesota is a revolutionary state because it allowed Native American casinos, but we cannot say the same about laws on online gambling in Minnesota. For years, lawmakers have been trying to negotiate the official legislation of online casinos and online betting platforms without any success. As we mentioned previously, you can still play in offshore operators, but you cannot organize any online gambling on the territory of Minnesota. However, if you are looking for the best online casinos in the US, you should definitely check our page.

A Hand Holding Smartphone with Casino Illustration

Will state officials change Minnesota online gambling laws any time soon? Well, it is hard to say because the state is not quite active online. That became evident when they released the Minnesota state lottery in 2013 but terminated the service in 2015 because of the lack of interest. Many things have changed since then, and we presume that soon enough, the Minnesota gambling laws will change, and the top USA gambling sites will become available in Minnesota too.

The Best Minnesota Casinos – Locations, Games & Amenities

If you are curious to learn more about the Minnesota casinos, we decided to gatherthe best of them for you and show you more details about them. First, you need to understand that they are spread all around the state. You maybe not know, but Minnesota is called the land of the 10,000 lakes. This means that this is a perfect place for one long and super nice vacation, great for hiking and full of beautiful sightseeings.

This makes it a perfect place even for a family weekend where you can enjoy casino games and unique nature simultaneously. When we mentioned family, another great idea that we can give you is to visit Minneapolis, where you will find the only two horse racing racetracks in the state, and where you can bring your kids in.

Name Owner Address Accommo­dation Amenities Games Website
Mystic Lake Casino Hotel Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd NW, Prior Lake, MN 55372, United States 700+ rooms Bars, Restaurants, Events Hall, Meeting Room, Amusement Park, Swimming Pools, Golf Course, RV Parking Slots, Blackjack, Bingo, Pulltabs View Page
Black Bear Casino Resort Fond du Lac Band 1785 MN-210, Carlton, MN 55718, United States 400+ rooms Bars, Restaurants, Events Hall, Nightclub, Golf Course Slots, Bingo, Blackjack, Poker, Kano View Page
Shooting Star Casino Mahnomen 777 SE Casino Rd, Mahnomen, MN 56557, United States 350+ rooms Bars, Restaurants, Meeting Hall, Spa Facilities, RV Parking Slots, Bingo, Blackjack, Let It Ride, Pai Gow Poker, Three Cards Poker, High Limit Blackjack, Omaha Hi-Lo, Texas Hold’Em, 7 Card Stud View Page

Keep in mind that the state is perfect for camping and RVs. You can see on the element above that some of the casino hotels offer RV parking too. Some of the Indian casinos are located in or near reservations, where you can find additional information about the local tribes and their traditions. After all, the Native Americans played a primary role in the legalization of gambling and changes of the gambling laws in Minnesota.

FAQ

There are many interesting facts about the state of Minnesota gambling laws that you can easily forget. For that reason, we have gathered the most frequently asked questions about the gambling laws in Minnesota and placed them here for your convenience. Use the additional jump links in the answer if you want to investigate any subject in detail.

⚖️ When did gambling become legal in Minnesota?

Gambling was popular among Native Americans long before the massive colonization of the Americas. The first Minnesota gambling law in history was in 1851, when the union banned gambling in all of its states. Despite the laws, illegal gambling was widely available almost everywhere across the states.

📅 How gambling laws in Minnesota changed in the 20th century?

This was a devastating century for gambling not only in Minnesota but in the whole USA. Several major events changed the course of gambling in the US in the 20th century. First was the official ban of all gambling in 1918. Don't forget that in the last decades of the 20th-century, Minnesota brought the casino gambling revolution into the state.

✅ What types of gambling are allowed in Minnesota?

Currently, there are many legal types of gambling in Minnesota that you can enjoy. There are over 18 land-based casinos, two horse racing tracks and many other moto racing tracks. You can also play bingo, lotteries or participate in charitable gambling events organized on the state's territory.

🌐 What are the laws on online gambling Minnesota?

Laws on online gambling in Minnesota pretty much count all online gambling as an illegal activity. The Minnesota online gambling laws prohibits the organization or management of any online gambling platform in Minnesota, no matter what type of service they provide. But this doesn't mean that you cant play on any offshore platform.

🎰 Will Minnesota legalize sports gambling?

The future of sports gambling in the state of Minnesota is not yet written in stone. Nobody knows when and how the gambling laws in Minnesota will change and how soon the state lawmaker will successfully legalize it. That will probably be soon because many people are betting online due to the pandemic and the social distance.

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