Last reviewed December 2016
Minnesota Issues Resource Guides
This guide is compiled by staff at the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library on a topic of interest to Minnesota legislators. It is designed to provide an introduction to the topic, directing the user to a variety of sources, and is not intended to be exhaustive.
These forms of gambling are legal in Minnesota: pari-mutuel betting on horse racing, a card club at Canterbury Park, Indian tribal casinos, charitable gambling and a state lottery. According to the House Research publication Gambling Revenue, state revenue from the lottery, pari-mutuel, charitable gambling and tribal casinos was $170.2 million in FY2014. For fiscal year 2015, gross receipts from lawful gambling were $1.3 billion (Annual Report 2015 Fiscal Year, Minnesota Gambling Control Board).
Types of legal gambling in Minnesota
- Lawful Gambling and Gambling Devices
Lawful gambling and gambling devices are governed by Minnesota Statutes Chapter 349 and are overseen by the Gambling Control Board. In 1999, Canterbury Park was granted legislative authority to operate a card club at the racetrack.
- Pari-mutuel Betting
From 1945 through 1981, limited gambling for charitable purposes was permitted in Minnesota; no other type of gambling was lawful. In 1982, the Minnesota Legislature proposed a constitutional amendment to allow pari-mutuel betting in the state. Voters approved the amendment in 1983 and pari-mutuel horse racing was legalized. The Minnesota Racing Commission supervises the conduct of pari-mutuel betting on horse racing. Pari-mutuel horse racing is governed by Minnesota Statutes Chapter 240
- Indian Gaming
Tribal casinos in Minnesota operate under a combination of state law, tribal ordinance, and tribal-state compacts. Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act in 1988, codifying gambling on Indian land (see U.S. Code Title 25, Chapter 29: Indian Gaming Regulation). For state-level regulation, see Indian Gaming Statutes and Compacts (Minnesota Department of Public Safety)
- Minnesota State Lottery
In 1989, the Minnesota Legislature created a state lottery, which is governed by Minnesota Statutes Chapter 349A. The Lottery is operated under the control of a director appointed by the governor with the advice and consent of the Senate.
- Laws of Minnesota 1945, chapter 419, (Bingo legalized) (House File 1303).
- Laws of Minnesota 1947, chapter 586, (Anti-slot machine law enacted) (House File 698).
- Laws of Minnesota 1978, chapter 507, (Paddlewheels, tipboards, and raffles legalized) (House File 405)
- Laws of Minnesota 1981, chapter 204, (Pull-tabs legalized) (Senate File 209)
- Laws of Minnesota 1982, chapter 519, (Pari-mutuel betting amendment proposed) (Senate File 303)
- Laws of Minnesota 1983, chapter 214, (Pari-mutuel enabling legislation and Minnesota Racing Commission created) (Senate File 77)
- Laws of Minnesota 1984, chapter 502, (Legislature transfers regulation and licensing from local governments to Charitable Gambling Control Board) (House File 2016)
- Congress passes Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (1988) affirming legal basis for gaming on tribal land; authorizes tribal-state compacts for casino-style gambling
- Laws of Minnesota 1988, chapter 690, (House File 2182) (Legislature puts state lottery amendment on ballot; voters approve amendment in November)
- Laws of Minnesota 1989, chapter 334, (House File 66) (Creating the state lottery)
For a more detailed legislative history, see the House Research document, Gambling in Minnesota: A Short History.
Significant Books and Reports
Annual Report. Roseville, MN: Minnesota State Lottery. (HG6133.M6 M57)
Annual Report of the Minnesota Gambling Control Board. Roseville, MN: Minnesota Gambling Control Board. (HV6721.M6 M56)
Annual Report of the Minnesota Racing Commission. St. Paul: Minnesota Racing Commission. (SF324.35.M6 M56)
Arts, Waltraud A. The Authority of the Minnesota Legislature to Authorize Gaming Operated by the State. Madison, WI: Quarles & Brady, LLP, 2005. (KFM5785.A78 2005)
Biggerstaff, Andrew. Online Gambling: Federal Law. St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives, House Research Department, 2013.
Casino City's North American Gaming Almanac. Newton, MA: Casino City Press. (Reference GV1301.C37) (This report contains market overviews by country, state, and province or territory, revenue charts and tables by gaming activity, gaming property facility and amenity profiles.)
Charitable Gambling Impact Study : A Brief Review of the Fiscal Impact of a Statewide Smoking Ban on Lawful Gambling. Roseville, MN : Minnesota Gambling Control Board, 2008. (HV6721.M6 C43 2008)
Charitable Gambling in Minnesota. St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives, House Research Department, 2010.
Economic Contribution of Minnesota's Horse Racing Industry: A Report of the Economic Impact Analysis Program. [Minneapolis]: University of Minnesota Extension and Minnesota Racing Commission, 2017. (SF 332.5.M6 T83 2017)
The Economic Impact of Indian Gaming in Minnesota. Bemidji, MN: Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, 2016. (E78.M7 E46 2016)
Evans, William N. The Social and Economic Impact of Native American Casinos. Cambridge, MA: National Bureau of Economic Research, 2002. (E98.G18 E93 2002)
Financial Summary for Licensed Lawful Gambling Organizations. Roseville, MN : State of Minnesota, Gambling Control Board. (HV6721.M6 F565)
Gambling in Minnesota: An Overview. St. Paul: Minnesota State Lottery, 2013.
Gambling Taxes. St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives, House Research Department.
Governor's Report on Compulsive Gambling. St. Paul: Office of the Governor. (RC569.5 G35 G69)
Grinols, Earl. Gambling in America: Costs and Benefits. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press, 2004. (HV6715.G76 2004)
Gambling Regulation and Oversight. St. Paul: Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor, Program Evaluation Division, 2005. (HV6721.M6 J86 2005)
Hansen, Alicia. Lotteries and State Fiscal Policy (Tax Foundation Background Paper). (HG6126 .H36 2004)
Indian Gambling in Minnesota. St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives, House Research Department, 2008.
Lawful (Charitable) Gambling in Minnesota:Issues Facing the Industry. Roseville, MN: Minnesota Gambling Control Board, 2009. (HV6721.M6 L393 2009)
Lawful Gambling Manual. Roseville, MN: Minnesota Gambling Control Board. (KFM5785.Z9 L39)
Lottery Organization Task Force. Lottery Organizational Task Force Report. St. Paul: The Task Force, 2005. (HG6133.M6 L69 2005)
McCormack, Patrick J. Charitable Gambling in Minnesota. St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives, House Research Department, 2010. (HV6721.M6 M33 2010)
Meister, Alan. Indian Gaming Industry Report. Newton, MA: Casino City Press, 2014. (E98.G18 M45 2014)
Minnesota Live. (A proposal to renovate Block E (Hennepin and First Avenues between Sixth and Seventh Streets) in downtown Minneapolis. The centerpiece would be a state-owned and operated casino.) Minnesota: HV6711 .M55 2011.
Minnesota State Lottery. St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives, House Research Department, 2006.
Minnesota State Lottery. St. Paul: Minnesota Office of the Legislative Auditor, Program Evaluation Division, 2004. (HG6133.M6 Y86 2004)
Minnesota State Lottery July 1, 2004, through December 31, 2005. St. Paul: Financial Audit Division, Office of the Legislative Auditor, State of Minnesota, 2006. (HJ9865 .A27 no. 06-25)
Minnesota State Lottery Overview. Roseville, Minn. : Minnesota State Lottery, 2013.
Runge, C. Ford. The Workforce Economic Benefits of Minnesota Indian Gaming Association Member Tribes' Casino-Resorts. Minnesota : Minnesota Indian Gaming Association, 2007. (E78.M7 R86 2007)
Social and Economic Costs of Gambling: A Report to the 2008 Minnesota Legislature. St. Paul: Minnesota Dept. of Human Services, 2007. (HV6721.M6 S63 2007)
Stinchfield, Randy. Evaluation of State-Supported Pathological Gambling Treatment in Minnesota. Minnesota: 2008. (RC569.5.G35 S754 2008)
Texas Hold'em. St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives, House Research Department, 2008.
Williams, John. Charitable Gambling in Minnesota. St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives, House Research Department, 2005 (HV6721.M6 W55 2005)
Williams, John. Gambling in Minnesota: A Short History. St. Paul: Minnesota House of Representatives, House Research Department, 2005. (KFM5785.Z9 W54 2005)
Regulatory Statutes and Criminal Statutes (Department of Public Safety)
Links to the World: Gambling includes links to information about gambling and to groups monitoring gambling issues
Minnesota House Research Department Gambling Publications
Minnesota Indian Gaming Association
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) Gaming Compacts
Other Sources of Information
For historical information, check the following codes in the Newspaper Clipping Files and the Vertical Files:
G2 (Gambling), G2.4 (Gambling – Charitable), G2.1 (Gambling – Compulsive), G2.3 (Gambling – Indian), G2.6 (Gambling – Lottery), G2.10 (Gambling – Pari-mutuel Betting),G 2.18 (Gambling – Video Gambling/Slot Machines), M68 (Gambling Control Board), R10.8 (Racing – Canterbury Park)
For additional reports at the Legislative Library, use these Library catalog searches:
Gambling; Gambling (Minnesota); Indian Gaming (Minnesota); Lotteries; Lotteries (Minnesota); Compulsive Gamblers; Charitable Gambling.
Periodicals in the Library’s collection:
Gaming News, La Fleur's Magazine, Link (Minnesota State Lottery)