Minnesota Casino Guide
Facts About Gambling & Online Casinos in Minnesota
While Minnesota casinos are numerous, there is one key thing many players find missing – craps and roulette. The only table game you’ll find in land-based casinos, including the many tribal casinos, is Blackjack. Gambling is virtually limited to bingo, Blackjack, poker, and video slots.
History of Gambling in Minnesota
It was in 1945 that Minnesota residents were first able to legally gamble, but it was limited to charitable bingo games. That didn’t leave a lot of room for things like slot machines that were on their way out and abolished legally by Governor Youngdahl in 1947. It would take close to 30 years before the Minnesota Lottery Bill would be discussed, yet it wouldn’t make the ballot and gain voter approval until 1988.
When the U.S. Court of Appeals announced that bingo was legal on tribal lands, the first bingo halls began appearing in 1981. Additionally, these halls started to add video gambling machines, and the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act led to many tribal casinos opening throughout Minnesota.
Meanwhile, horse racing also became legal in 1983 and Minnesota saw its first racetrack, Canterbury Downs, open in 1985. When the race track began losing too much money to remain open, Minnesota legalized simulcasts for the off-season, but that wasn’t enough to save it, so the racetrack filed bankruptcy. New investors purchased the facility and partnered with Ladbroke International to offer around-the-year simulcast races. Off-track betting followed in 1991 but was soon declared unconstitutional, so once again the racetrack closed. It would eventually reopen and become legally allowed to offer betting on specific card games.
Age Restrictions for Gambling in Minnesota
Minnesota Law requires anyone gambling in a racino or tribal casino to be at least 18 years of age. Patrons cannot purchase alcoholic beverages until they are 21, however. Despite the legal age being 18, some casinos that serve alcohol opt to increase the requirement to 21, so be certain to check before you show up at the casino.
Minnesota’s Casino Gambling Outlook
For a while, things looked good in terms of the possibility for online casinos in Minnesota. The state started offering some online play and online lottery ticket sales. Sales were good with e-scratch tickets earning close to $1 million in less than a year. That changed, however, in 2015 when Minnesota’s government passed a bill requiring the Minnesota Lottery to abolish all online games within four months. With this new bill in place, it’s unlikely the state will welcome its own online casinos any time soon. For now, players will have to find U.S.-friendly casinos that allow Minnesota residents.
Despite the restrictions on the types of table games that are legal in casinos in Minnesota, there are still more than a dozen casinos, both tribal and racinos, where you can gamble. Here is the current list:
• Canterbury Park
• Running Aces Harness Park
• Black Bear Casino Resort
• Fond-du-Luth Casino
• Fortune Bay Resort Casino
• Grand Casino (Two locations – Hinckley and Onamia)
• Grand Portage Lodge and Casino
• Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel
• Little Six Casino
• Mystic Lake Casino Hotel
• Northern Lights Casino
• Palace Casino & Hotel
• Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort
• Seven Clans Casino (Three locations – Red Lake, Thief River Falls, and Warroad)
• Shooting Star Casino
• White Oak Casino