Minnesota Casinos and Gambling

Minnesota is known as “The Gopher State” and the “Land of 1,000 Lakes.” In addition to the natural beauty of the region, the state is also celebrated for its high standard of living and quality of education. While opportunities for gambling don’t often factor into such accolades, fans of casinos and poker will likely send up a cheer once they realize how many options await them. From harness racing to blackjack, this Midwest state has a little something for everyone.

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Minnesota Indian Casinos

While the state doesn’t allow commercial casinos, tribal gaming facilities can legally operate within its borders. Since the name of the state comes from the Dakota word for “clear blue water,” it should be clear that Minnesota has its fair share of Native American residents. These individuals have happily taken advantage of the right to open gaming establishments, and the state has over 20 casinos for patrons to enjoy.

At last count, the state had over 995,086 square feet devoted to casino games, with a total of about 22,000 slot machines. Around 370 table games are also available, as well as 60 poker tables. The minimum available wager is just a penny, while high rollers can bet up to $1,000.

The following is a list of all the Minnesota casinos currently in operation. In addition to listing their names, I’ve also included the casino games most commonly found at each location.

  • Black Bear Casino Resort – Slots, video poker, blackjack, bingo, poker, electronic keno
  • Canterbury Park – Racetrack & Card Club – Poker
  • Fond-du-Luth Casino – Slots, video poker, blackjack, electronic keno
  • Fortune Bay Resort Casino – Slots, video poker, blackjack, poker
  • Golden Eagle Bingo – Slots, video poker, bingo
  • Grand Casino Hinckley – Blackjack, slots, video poker
  • Grand Casino Mille Lacs – Blackjack, slots, video poker
  • Grand Portage Lodge & Casino – Blackjack, slots, video poker
  • Jackpot Junction Casino Hotel – Slots, video poker, blackjack, poker
  • Little Six Casino – Slots, blackjack, video poker
  • Mystic Lake Casino Hotel – Slots, blackjack, bingo, video poker, pull tabs
  • Northern Lights Casino – Slots, poker, blackjack, video poker
  • Palace Casino & Hotel – Poker, blackjack, slots, video poker
  • Prairie’s Edge Casino Resort – Blackjack, slots, video poker
  • Seven Clans Casino, Hotel & Indoor Waterpark – Slots, blackjack, and video poker
  • Seven Clans Red Lake Casino & Bingo – Slots, video poker
  • Seven Clans Warroad Casino – Slots, blackjack, video poker
  • Shooting Star Casino & Hotel – Blackjack, poker, slots, video poker
  • Treasure Island Resort & Casino – Blackjack, poker, slots, video poker
  • White Oak Casino – Slots, poker, blackjack, video poker

Poker in Minnesota

Poker is legal within the borders of the state, but you won’t find any cardrooms dedicated solely to the game. There are certainly some under-the-radar locations operating without the knowledge of authorities, but official sites are either inside casinos or at one of the state’s racetracks.

Pari-Mutuel Betting in Minnesota

Live greyhound racing isn’t present in the state, but the same isn’t true of harness, quarter horse, and thoroughbred racing. There are two major racetracks in Minnesota for such events, and they include the following:

  • Canterbury Park – Racetrack & Card Club – Located 25 minutes from downtown Minnesota, this 355-acre facility was constructed in 1984 for thoroughbred and quarter horse racing. Simulcast racing is available on 500 TV screens, and the racino’s card room provides customers with poker, blackjack, and EZ Baccarat.
  • Running Aces Casino & Racetrack – Live racing takes place from June through September, with events being held every Tuesday, Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday. Simulcast racing takes place year round, with wagering available on standardbred, thoroughbred, and quarter horse events. Their card room features a number of games with no commission and no antes, including blackjack, pai gow, poker, and EZ Baccarat. The latter is also open 24/7 to accommodate the busy schedules of their customers.

Minnesota Lottery

Over $2.4 billion has been raised by the Minnesota lottery, and 24 cents of each dollar goes to various state programs. In addition to the popular lotto games, customers can purchase scratch-off tickets from thousands of licensed retailers in denominations ranging from $1 to $50. In order to play, you must be at least 18 years old.

Progressive print-and-play games work like the lotto option, but you don’t have to wait for a drawing to find out if you’ve won. Just compare the numbers on your ticket to the printed call numbers, and you’ll win instant cash based on the number of matches. The payouts range from a few hundred dollars to a percentage of the ever-increasing progressive jackpot.

The most popular games are the lotto-style drawings, and winners are determined at various times throughout the week. As of this writing, the following are the available options:

  • Powerball – Tickets cost $2 and the progressive jackpot starts at $40 million.
  • Mega Millions – A ticket costs $1 and the progressive jackpot starts at $15 million.
  • Hot Lotto – For a $1 ticket, customers have a chance to win a minimum jackpot of $1 million.
  • Gopher 5 – A $1 ticket can win a starting jackpot of $100,000.
  • Northstar Cash – A $1 ticket can win a $25,000 starting jackpot.
  • All or Nothing – For $1, players have a chance to win a $100,000 top prize.
  • Daily 3 – Ticket prices range from $0.50 to $5, with a top prize of $500 for a $1 wager.

Slot Machine Ownership in Minnesota

If you want to own a slot machine in Minnesota, you’ll be delighted to know that the laws are as liberal as they come. While most states restrict owners to machines that are at least a couple of decades old, there are no such rules in “The North Star State.” Machines can be right off the floor of a casino, although owners are still prohibited from using them to make a profit.


Minnesota has a diverse range of options for gamblers, whether they’re into poker, blackjack, or thoroughbred racing. While no commercial casinos are available, the Indian tribes in the state have been more than happy to take up the slack. And once you factor in the availability of online gambling, you’ve got a region that’s perfect for those who thrive on games of chance.