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History of Gambling in Minnesota
Long before the United States existed, Native American tribes governed themselves and played different kinds of games of chance and skill. With the first settles came games of European ancestry and gambling has become part of Minnesota’s culture. Soldiers, railroad workers and Minnesota loggers enjoyed gambling as a common activity. In those days, in the 1800s, some of the widely played games include dice, poker, roulette, faro and hazard. In the early 1900s, people would gamble wheat, corn, cotton, and other products of the farm. Bingo was the first form of gambling to be legalized in Minnesota, in 1945. Two years later, slot machines were banned.
Canterbury Park Slot Machines
The state lottery and betting on horse races were introduced in the 1980s - Minnesota was a little late to catch up with its neighboring states in these aspects of the industry. When the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 established the sovereignty of Native American tribes once in for all, local registered tribes were able to negotiate compacts with the state government and open the doors of their tribal gaming facilities - the first of them started running one year following the act. The only other format of gambling in the Gopher State is card club. Card clubs are licensed venues offering poker and card games banked by the house. These venues are associated with existing live horse racing facilities - two of them in Minnesota.
Land based casinos
Minnesota casinos have expanded since the original seven Native American gambling facilities were opened. Now, Minnesotans are free to pay a visit over 20 Indian casinos and two racinos. The number of commercial casinos is zero. People don’t have to travel for gambling options though, as tribal casinos offer everything from slot machines and table games to video poker and electronic table games. You won’t find craps and roulette at any of the operating venues in the Land of 10,000 Lakes.
The state’s two racetracks are Canterbury Park in Shakopee and Running Aces in Forest Park. Both of them host a card club where patrons can try their luck at blackjack, baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Three Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker. As for the rest of the casino possibilities, tribal casinos are there for the taking. As opposed to the majority of other states with a developed brick and mortar casino industry where the gambling venues are usually centered on specific areas, in Minnesota there are casinos disbursed evenly throughout the state. Mystic Lake Casino Hotel is the largest, covering 25,000 square feet and housing roughly 4,000 slot machines and 100 table games.
Treasure Island Casino has over 2,400 slot machines on offer, in addition to video poker terminals, blackjack, Three Card Poker and Four Card Poker, Pai Gow and Ultimate Texas Hold’em tables. Treasure Island offers plenty of entertainment through sports and also the commodity of spa and dining facilities. Black Bear Casino Resort is home to more than 1,800 video slot machines, from penny to dollar machines, including progressives and multi-line games. It also features bingo and blackjack games. The latest to open are Shooting Star Casino Bagley and Shooting Star Casino Star Lake.
Regulation and legality of online gambling
The legal status of gambling on the internet in Minnesota is cloudy. The only format of online gambling that is regulated by the Minnesota code is off-track betting on horses. The term ‘online gambling’ or ‘internet gambling’ is nowhere mentioned in the laws which currently apply, but the statutes do mention illegal gambling devices. Someone might argue that by that term the statutes describe a computer, smartphone, or tablet. In reality, Minnesota has never shown any firm intention towards prosecuting online gamblers. No one has ever been arrested and gaming is something that the Minnesota society approaches with a progressive attitude.
Slotocash and Bodog Casino are two examples from an increasing group of casinos with a trustworthy background and a history of treating their customers fairly and with consideration. There are casinos out there which do their best to accommodate players from Minnesota and beyond. Their stance that they do not fall under the US federal jurisdiction allows them to offer high-quality software and favorable payment methods to gamblers from the States. Slotocash offers games by Real Time Gaming and accepts banking through AMEX, Diners cards and Bitcoin wallets. Bodog emerged on the gaming scene nearly two decades ago and still serves its customers just as eagerly. It offers games by RTG, too. This is a place where Minnesotans can play slots like Fruit Zen, A Night in Paris, Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde and Greedy Goblins.
Introduction to Minnesota Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018
Minnesota slot machine casino gambling consists of 19 tribal casinos with video slot machines and limited table games with cards. There are also two pari-mutuel wagering sites in the state, but no slot machines are at these racetrack facilities.
Minimum and maximum payout return limits have been legally set within tribal-state compacts. However, actual payout return statistics are not publicly available.
This post continues the weekly series Online Resource: A State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series, an online resource dedicated to guiding slot machine casino gambling enthusiasts to success. Each weekly post reviews slots gambling in a single U.S. state, territory, or the federal district.
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Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling in Minnesota*
The minimum legal gambling age in Minnesota depends upon the gambling activity:
- Land-Based Casinos: 18/21
- Poker Rooms: 18
- Bingo: 18
- Lottery: 18
- Pari-Mutuel Wagering: 18
Minnesota had prohibited gambling prior to its statehood. In fact, the 1851 territorial legislature enacted strict prohibitions against all forms of gambling. This prohibition held for nearly a century and still influences legalized gambling in Minnesota.
The convoluted history of legalized gambling in Minnesota from 1945 through 2005 is well-documented via a 95-page report called Gambling in Minnesota: A Short History available online from the Minnesota House Research Department.
Minnesota’s tribal casinos are located on their reservations. Establishment of tribal gaming regulations was through negotiated state-tribal compacts subsequently approved by the U.S. Department of Interior. Minnesota tribes were the first in the U.S. to negotiate and sign gaming compacts with a state government.
Minnesota has 11 federally-recognized American Indian tribes. Along with these tribes, Minnesota has negotiated 22 tribal-state compacts to produce 19 tribal casinos in the state.
Each tribe has two compacts, one for video games of chance and a second for limited table games with cards. Tribal casinos operate under a combination of state law, tribal ordinance, and tribal-state compacts. Not regulated by the state are Class II competition-style games.
These gaming compacts permit Class III Vegas-style games but are explicitly restricted to blackjack and non-banked card games, such as poker, as well as video games of chance. These electronic video games include video poker, video keno, video slots, and others.
The gaming compacts stipulate the Minnesota Department of Public Safety is responsible for the inspection and approval of these video gaming machines. Both parties agreed that the compacts should be effective in perpetuity but re-negotiations can occur if desired by both parties.
The Minnesota state government makes all tribal-state compacts publicly available at its Tribal-State Gaming Compacts webpage, consisting of 100 downloadable pdf files.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws apply to various forms of gambling. This information is not intended to provide legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership in Minnesota
Private ownership of slot machines is legal in Minnesota, without restriction regarding the
Gaming Control Board in Minnesota
Minnesota has six gaming control boards for various aspects of gambling oversight, including:
- Department of Public Safety’s Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division (AEGD)
- Gambling Control Board
- Minnesota Racing Commission
- Canterbury Park Office
- Running Aces Office
- Minnesota State Lottery
The tribal-state compacts provide for inspection and approval of video gaming machines by the AEGD, licensing of casino employees, machine payout percentages, and regulation of the play of blackjack.
Specific overall responsibilities of the AEGD include:
- Licensing of manufacturers and distributors of gambling devices
- Gambling criminal enforcement and investigation
- Assure compliance with -tribal-state compacts
Casinos in Minnesota
There are currently 19 American Indian tribal casinos offering video slot machines in Minnesota.
The largest casino in Minnesota is Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake, having over 3,500 gaming machines and nearly 100 table games.
The second largest casino is Treasure Island Resort and Casino in Welch, having over 2,200 gaming machines and 50 table games.
List of Casinos in Minnesota
Minnesota’s two pari-mutuel facilities Canterbury Park and Running Aces offer blackjack and non-banked card games such as poker but are legally prohibited from offering slot machines.
List of Tribal Casinos in Minnesota
Minnesota’s 19 tribal casinos are:
- Black Bear Casino Resort in Carlton located 22 miles southwest of Duluth with over 1,800 video slot machines.
- Fond-du-Luth Casino near downtown Duluth with over 680 video slot machines.
- Fortune Bay Resort & Casino in Tower located 91 miles north of Duluth with 850 video slot machines.
- Grand Casino Hinckley in Hinckley located 82 miles north of Minneapolis with over 2,100 video slot machines.
- Grand Casino Mille Lacs in Onamia located 97 miles north of Minneapolis with nearly 1,800 video slot machines.
- Grand Portage Lodge & Casino located 144 miles northeast of Duluth a few miles from the Canadian border with over 450 video slot machines.
- Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel in Morton located 113 miles southwest of Minneapolis with over 1,200 video slot machines.
- Little Six Casino in Prior Lake located 26 miles southwest of Minneapolis with 759 video slot machines.
- Mystic Lake Casino Hotel in Prior Lake located 27 miles southwest of Minneapolis with over 3,500 video slot machines.
- Northern Lights Casino & Hotel in Walker located 128 miles west of Duluth with over 900 video slot machines.
- Palace Casino & Hotel in Cass Lake located 140 miles northwest of Duluth with over 500 video slot machines.
- Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort in Granite Falls located 129 miles west of Minneapolis with over 1,000 video slot machines.
- Seven Clans Casino Red Lake located 180 miles northwest of Duluth with 325 video slot machines.
- Seven Clans Casino Thief River Falls located 235 miles northwest of Duluth with over 650 video slot machines.
- Seven Clans Casino Warroad located 251 miles northwest of Duluth a few miles from the Canadian border with over 600 video slot machines.
- Shooting Star Casino Bagley located 186 miles northwest of Duluth with over 170 video slot machines.
- Shooting Star Casino Hotel in Mahnomen located 211 miles west of Duluth with nearly 1,100 video slot machines.
- Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch located 46 miles southeast of Minneapolis with over 2,200 video slot machines.
- White Oak Casino in Deer River located 99 miles northwest of Duluth with over 300 video slot machines.
Other Gambling Establishments
As an alternative to enjoying Minnesota slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state.
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Minnesota is bordered by:
- North: Canadian Provinces of Manitoba and Ontario
- East: Wisconsin Slots and, across Lake Superior, Michigan Slots
- South: Iowa Slots
- West: North Dakota Slots and South Dakota Slots
Each of the links above will take you to my state-specific blog for that bordering state to Minnesota.
Payout Returns in Minnesota
Per tribal-state gaming compacts, the minimum and maximum payout returns for slot machines are 80% and 95%, respectively, over the lifetime of the game.
Further, video keno and similar games specifically called out in these compacts have a theoretical payout percentage requirement of no less than 75% applied to each number of spots marked per wager.
Video games of chance affected by player skill such as video poker and video blackjack, have a minimum and maximum payout return of 83% and 98%, respectively, again over the lifetime of the game. How to make profit online poker. These limits assume optimal play of these skill-based games.
It’s not required of Minnesota’s American Indian tribal casinos to provide actual values for their payout percentages. However, Little Six Casino currently states on their website that they have the loosest slots in Minnesota, claiming to have a 95% payout return.
Our Minnesota Slots Facebook Group
Are you interested in sharing and learning with other slots enthusiasts in Minnesota? If so, join our new Minnesota slots community on Facebook. All you’ll need is a Facebook profile to freely join this closed Facebook Group.
There, you’ll be able to privately share your slots experiences as well as chat with players about slots gambling in or near Minnesota. Come join us!
Summary of Minnesota Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2018
In summary, Minnesota slot machine casino gambling consists of 19 tribal casinos with video machines including video slots. Otherwise, no slot machines are offered in Minnesota.
Minimum and maximum payout return limits are 80% and 95% for video slot machines. Video keno has a lower payout return limit of 75%. For skill-based games such as video poker and video blackjack, these limits are instead 83% and 98% but assume a perfect playing strategy for optimal play.
Annual Progress in Minnesota Slot Machine Casino Gambling
In the last year, an additional tribal casino has opened, the Shooting Star Casino Bagley near Chippewa National Forest in northern Minnesota.
Archive: Minnesota Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2017
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Slot Machines At Canterbury Park Apartments
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By Jon H. Friedl, Jr. Ph.D., President
Jon Friedl, LLC