Minnesota has no online or retail sports betting, as all efforts to legalize sportsbooks have failed to pass by state legislators. That hasn’t been for lack of trying, as legislation has been submitted every year from 2019 to 2022. Most of these attempts died in the Committee stage, thanks to opposition from the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association. The Minnesota Indian Gaming Association opposes the legalization of sports betting because it may cut down on tribal casino revenues.
However, progress is being made, as the Minnesota House approved a sports betting bill for the first time in 2022. HF 778 allowed sports betting licenses for tribal casinos. A conflict with the Senate involving whether to add commercial racetrack casinos to the bill meant HF 778 didn’t pass.
Read our expert guide to Minnesota sports betting to discover the history of sports betting legislation in MN. We also overview the most popular sports teams in the states that will attract lots of bets and neighboring states you can visit to wager legally.
With a team in each of the major professional leagues, sports fans in Minnesota would likely have plenty of interest in sports betting. We’ve looked at some of the sports that might attract the most attention if sports betting is legalized.
The NFL is one of the most popular betting markets in the US, and sports fans in Minnesota love their local team, the Minnesota Vikings. Despite never winning a Super Bowl, the Vikes have always been competitive in the NFL. Fans would be able to get behind their team and place future bets on the franchise to end its Super Bowl drought. You’ll also find player props on Vikings players to achieve statistics like receiving yards and rushing yards.
Basketball has a long history in Minnesota, with the Los Angeles Lakers starting in MN. The Lakers actually took its name from Minnesota’s 10,000 lakes but still moved on to LA. However, before leaving, the Minnesota Lakers won five championships in MN.
The Minnesota Timberwolves took the place of the Lakers in 1989 and have continued sports fans’ love for basketball. The team has been far less successful, only winning one divisional title. However, if sports betting in Minnesota is legalized, Timberwolves fans could bet on every game featuring the team, pre-game and in-play.
The Minnesota Twins are the only team currently playing in MN to win a national championship, claiming the World Series in 1987 and 1991. While the Twins haven’t made it to the World Series since then, the team has been competitive in the AL Central, winning the division in 2019 and 2020.
MLB betting will be very popular with sportsbooks in MN if sports betting is legalized. Bettors will be able to back markets like runlines, over/under, and futures.
With the Minnesota Wild making the playoffs in nine of the ten seasons between 2012 and 2022, NHL fans in MN have plenty of reason to believe that the team could bring a first Stanley Cup home.
Entering the league in 2000, the Wild have made the playoffs 12 times and got as far as the Western Conference Finals in 2003. However, the team has never made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.
Many US sportsbooks provide a wide range of NHL betting options, which will be available in Minnesota if sports betting is legalized. You can place bets on individual players to score, which team will be leading after each quarter and more prop bets.
Minnesota has a long collegiate sports history, with the University of Minnesota men’s football team playing its first game in 1882. Its team, the Golden Gophers, is in the Big Ten Conference and has claimed seven national championships, the last of which was in 1960.
The Gophers’ ice hockey team has also has seven national championships with the last coming in 2003. In recent years, in-state rival the University of Minnesota-Duluth Bulldogs won its first Frozen Four in 2011. The program claimed two more Frozen Four wins in 2018 and 2019.
Most states have different regulations for college betting compared to professional sports to protect younger athletes. It’s not clear whether college sports betting will be legal in MN. In addition, betting on in-state teams like the Golden Gophers and the Bulldogs may be prohibited.
You can’t bet on sports in Minnesota, but you can travel to neighboring states where sports betting is legalized. Three of Minnesota’s neighbors, South Dakota, Iowa, and Wisconsin, have some form of legal sports betting. Check out the regulations you must follow if you travel to these jurisdictions.
Retail sports betting in South Dakota launched in September 2021, with land-based casinos opening retail sportsbooks. Every sportsbook in SD has to be in Deadwood by law, which is on the other side of South Dakota to the MN border.
You must be 21 or older to bet in South Dakota and play on the grounds of a licensed establishment. Some retail sportsbooks provide betting apps you can use if you enable geolocation services and play within the casino.
There are five retail sportsbooks in SD. BetMGM operates retail sportsbooks at Liv Hospitality’s Tin Lizzie Gaming Resort and Cadillac Jack’s. ISI has retail sportsbooks at Mustang Sally’s Casino and Gold Dust Casino & Hotel, and IGT PlaySports has a retail sportsbook via kiosks at Deadwood Mountain Grand.
Sports betting in Iowa was legalized in 2019, with online and retail wagering going live in August 2019. You must be 21 or older to bet in IA and play within state lines. You also cannot be criminally barred, self-excluded, or closely associated with a sports team. Initially, you were required to register for online betting in person, but lawmakers scrapped this requirement in January 2021.
You can bet on professional and college sports, including in-state college teams. However, you can’t place prop bets on college athletes. There are more than a dozen sportsbooks in the state, including major operators like DraftKings, BetMGM, and Caesars.
There are three retail sportsbooks in Wisconsin, all operated by Native American tribes. You can visit these locations and bet legally on the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB. You can also back NCAA Division I events, but not including in-state teams. In addition to the three retail sportsbooks, you can use the Oneida Sportsbook app at Oneida Nation locations if you enable your geolocation services.
You must be 21 or older to bet in WI. However, you don’t need to be a resident, so Minnesota bettors are free to visit and play.
Founded in January 1960 and playing its inaugural season in 1961, the NFL’s Minnesota Vikings are a member of the NFC North division.
Despite only winning a single championship, pre-merger in 1969, the team has been one of the most successful in regular season pro football. The Vikings have the most conference championships and the highest regular season winning percentage of a non-Super Bowl-winning team. The franchise has also appeared in the conference championship game in every decade since the 70s.
The Vikings’ best period came in the 1970s. The team made it to the Super Bowl in 1970, only to lose to the Kansas City Chiefs. The franchise then made it to the Super Bowl in three out of four years from 1974 to 1977 but lost every game. The Vikings have the joint most trips to the Super Bowl of any team without winning it.
The Vikings play home games at U.S Bank Stadium, having moved to the stadium from Hubert H Humphrey Metrodome in 2013. Previously, the team played at Metropolitan Stadium from 1961-1981.
The Minnesota Twins began life in 1901 as Washington Senators. The Senators were one of the eight charter teams of the American League, and the team moved to Minnesota in 1961 to the newly built Metropolitan Stadium. The Twins’ name references the Twin Cities of Minneapolis-St Paul.
Despite winning the World Series in 1989 and 1991, The Twins nearly folded in 2001 when MLB owners voted to contract the league from 30 to 28 teams. Its long-term struggles to build a new ballpark had caused team owners to conclude they should remove the Twins and a fellow struggling team, Montreal Expos. However, the Twins got its new ballpark, Target Field, in 2010 and have improved since.
Since relocating from Washington to Minnesota, the Twins have won the World Series twice, three AL Pennants, and 12 divisional titles.
The Minnesota Wild is a member of the NHL’s Western Conference Central Division, having been granted an expansion franchise in June 1997.
The Minnesota North Stars had previously played pro hockey in Minneapolis before relocating to Dallas in 1993. The Wild’s inaugural season was seven years later, in 2000. The team plays its home games at the Xcel Energy Center in Saint Paul.
The Wild have yet to win a Stanley Cup. Its best season saw the Wild reach the Western Conference Finals, losing to the Anaheim Ducks. It won its first divisional championship in the 2007/08 season.
The 2003 Stanley Cup playoff run is the furthest the franchise has been in the playoffs, but it has appeared in the postseason in 11 of its 20 seasons from 2000 to 2020.
The Timberwolves weren’t the first professional basketball team in Minneapolis, with the Lakers calling the city home from 1947 to 1960. Still, Minnesota Timberwolves debuted in the NBA in December 1989, having been granted an expansion franchise in 1987.
The team struggled in its early years, but the acquisition of Kevin Garnett, the number-five pick in the 1995 NBA draft, helped the team qualify for the postseason every year from 1997 to 2004.
The 2004 NBA season would be the most successful so far for the Timberwolves, as the team won the Northwest Division and reached the Western Conference Finals. However, the fall from this point was massive, as Timberwolves fans had to wait until 2018 to see the team qualify for the postseason again. The franchise plays games at the Target Center, which it shares with its WNBA sister team, the Minnesota Lynx.
Minnesota United is the newest professional sports franchise in the Twin Cities and is a member of MLS’s Western Conference. United had its inaugural season in 2017 and plays its home games at Allianz Field in Saint Paul. Previously, the team played at TCF Bank Stadium.
Nicknamed “The Loons,” Minnesota United has been relatively successful in its opening years. The franchise has reached the MLS playoffs every year from 2019 to 2022. United finished as runners-up in the US Open Cup in 2018 and reached the Western Conference Final in 2020.
Alongside its professional sports teams, there are loads of sports events in Minnesota that capture the attention of fans and bettors. From top-tier college ice hockey to professional fighting, here are some of the most popular events in MN.
The NCAA Division I Men’s Ice Hockey Tournament, commonly known as the Frozen Four, is the national championship tournament for collegiate ice hockey and has been held in Minnesota ten times.
The first tournament in MN was in 1958 when 22,950 watched the University of Denver Pioneers win its first national championship. The Pioneers beat the University of North Dakota Fighting Hawks 6-2 at the Williams Arena, Minneapolis. The arena hosted the tournament again in 1966. In 1968 and 1981, Duluth Arena-Auditorium hosted the tournament, and St. Paul Civic Center hosted 1989, 1991, and 1998 editions.
Minnesota’s Xcel Energy Center hosted the 2002 Frozen Four. This tournament was notable for an in-state champion, with 19,222 watching the University of Minnesota win its first national championship since 1979. Minnesota-Duluth won the 2011 edition in its home state and repeated the feat the next time the Frozen Four came to MN, in 2018.
The Target Center, Minneapolis, has hosted three Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) events. The first was UFC 87, MN’s first and only numbered event. A crowd of 15,087 saw welterweight champion Georges St-Pierre defeat Jon Fitch on a unanimous points decision in the headline bout in August 2008.
The second event, UFC on FX 5, was held in October 2012 and saw a heavyweight bout, with Antonio Silva defeating Travis Browne by total knockout in front of 7,049. The final event, UFC on ESPN 3, was held in June 2019 and saw Francis Ngannou defeat Junior dos Santos in front of 10,123.
The football rivalry between the University of Minnesota Golden Gophers and the University of Wisconsin Badgers is the most played in the NCAA Division I Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS). The game has been held annually since 1890.
The winner receives a 6ft axe with the rivalries’ scores engraved on it, nicknamed “Paul Bunyan’s Axe.” The schools commissioned the current trophy in 2000, donating the original to the College Football Hall of Fame.
Minnesota dominated early contests between the two schools, winning five of the first six games between the schools. However, Wisconsin has leveled the overall series record in recent years, winning 14 successive games between 2004 and 2017. Its 2017 win finally gave the Badgers a winning record in the rivalry for the first time in 115 years.
The Minnesota Legislature has considered sports betting legislation for several years since the US Supreme overturned PASPA in 2018. Every bill so far has been successful, but progress was made in 2022. The House passed its first sports betting bill, but a conflict with the Senate meant the bill expired before the session's end. The earliest lawmakers can submit another sports betting bill is 2023, which would set up a launch in late 2023/early 2024.
Yes, horse racing betting is legal in Minnesota. Voters approved an amendment to MN laws to legalize pari-mutuel wagering in 1982. You can bet on horse racing using advance deposit betting apps like TVG or TwinSpires. Alternatively, you can bet at horse racing tracks like Canterbury Park across Minnesota. There is no off track betting in MN.
No, you cannot use BetMGM in Minnesota, as sports betting is not legal. However, you can travel to neighboring Iowa to use BetMGM’s online sportsbook. You can also visit South Dakota, where there are two retail BetMGM Sportsbooks.
No, you can’t use FanDuel to bet on sports in MN because sports betting is illegal. FanDuel is licensed in Minnesota’s neighboring state Iowa.
No, DraftKings Sportsbook is not legal in Minnesota. No legislation has been passed in MN allowing sports betting. The closest jurisdiction where DraftKings is licensed is Iowa.
Yes, you can play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in Minnesota. Through the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA), DFS tournaments are games of skill rather than chance. This means you can add money to top providers like DraftKings and FanDuel, and win cash prizes for creating high-scoring teams.
The current legal gambling age in Minnesota is 18, which allows you to play casino games, place pari-mutuel bets on horse racing, and enjoy DFS. However, lawmakers may bring in new restrictions for sports betting, as most states have a minimum betting age of 21.
The legal gambling age for casino gaming and pari-mutuel horse racing betting is 18 or older in Minnesota, so any sports betting regulations could introduce a similar minimum age. However, most states in the US require players to be 21 or older.
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