Minnesota Betting Laws

The winters get pretty cold in Minnesota, and the temperature is still freezing all year round when it comes to sports betting. There’s no immediate hope of legalization yet, though – as we’ll tell you in this guide – there are moves to change that.

With a population of 5.68million (2020) and sports franchises including the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings and the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves, there’s plenty of betting potential, locally.

But so far a standoff between the state’s politicans and local tribes means legislation is at an impasse.

Is Sports Betting Legal in Minnesota?

Sports betting is not yet legal in the state of Minnesota, but there is constructive movement now.

Republican House Member Patrick Garofalo and Democratic Senator Karla Bingham co-sponsored a January 2021 bill in a bid to legalize sports betting. 

Garofalo claimed legalization could bring in $40million to $50million to the state every year through betting taxes. With so many states opening up, and some already striking it rich, the case for legalization is getting stronger by the day.

The big obstacle for Garofalo and Bingham is the local tribes who believe sports betting (particularly online) will hurt their casino businesses. They are firmly opposed.

Introducing this bill is just the first punch in what is expected to be a heavyweight slugfest.

In the meantime resident Minnesotans must look to neighboring legal stats or even further afield for the opportunity to place their bets.

Legal Sports Betting near Minnesota

Just because you can’t bet in Minnesota, it doesn’t mean you can’t bet at all. U.S. sports gambling laws are based on location, not residency. So crossing state lines means new rules.

Here are the current options nearby for Minnesotans looking to bet legally on sports:

  • Iowa: Legal since 2019, with both retail and online/mobile app sports betting. If you want to bet online you can sign up and play from anywhere in-state, if you’re 21 or over.

NB: South Dakota lawmakers have approved sports betting in Deadwood only, but the options are limited right now with bettors needing to be on site at local casinos.

Are Offshore Sportsbooks Legal in Minnesota?

Our advice for anybody considering betting with offshore sportsbooks in Minnesota is pretty simple: Don’t.

These sportsbooks may seem too good to be true, but when that’s the case there’s almost always a catch. 

If you do bet with offshore sportsbooks – which are not legally able to accept bets in any U.S. state, you have no consumer protection. What happens if you can’t withdraw your funds?

So we advise you to look for legal options nearby, and in terms of Minnesota, sit tight.