Minnesota Legal poker Sites

Minnesota StateThe history of gambling games in Minnesota has been marked by intense legal battle with the native tribes here. This eventually turned out well for the Tribes and for fans of gambling games including poker– with several card-rooms now operating on native land. You can also enjoy poker games at 2 big ‘racinos’ and play games via the very popular charity gambling area in this State too.

Recommended Minnesota Poker Site

RankPoker SiteUSABonusBonus CodePlay Now
#1Ignition Poker Review$1100N/AVisit Ignition Poker

This page gives you a detailed account of the different ways you can enjoy poker games in the State of Minnesota. First of all, live poker card rooms are discussed. After that some information on social poker, including home games, charity tournaments and bar leagues. Next some words about online poker and my assessment of the likelihood that MN will regulate in-State internet games. After that you’ll find the key wording from the Statute books affecting poker players, and a summary and look into potential future scenarios today.

Live Poker Games In Minnesota

There are currently 12 live poker rooms in this State. These can be found at the State licensed racetracks of Canterbury Park and the Running Aces Harness Track – or in a number of tribal casinos dotted around the State on Native land. The racetrack poker rooms are mid-sized, with up to 40 tables hosting a wide range of poker games and buy-ins. Tournament events come to Minnesota, including the popular Mid-States Poker Tour, which also stops in Iowa, South Dakota, Nevada, Indiana, Wisconsin, Colorado and Michigan.

Several of the poker rooms run their own weekly tournament schedules and one off special events – for example ‘May Madness’ big buy-in tournaments.

Are Home Games Legal In Minnesota?

Home games are specifically excluded from the list of illegal gambling activities in the MN statute books. The stipulations are that the games are private, and that nobody is making a profit by running the game – for example acting as the ‘house’ by raking the pots or charging an entry fee. There is a maximum profit of $200 stipulated, though it is not clear whether this is per hand or per session. Unlike other States, Minnesota specifically gives the legal thumbs up to Texas Holdem – mentioning it by name in the Statute books.

Charity gambling is huge in this State, and this does include charity poker tournaments. These events do need to be individually licensed, however they are a popular and entertaining way of raising money for good causes. Free-to-play bar poker league events can also be found in this State.

Online Poker Games In Minnesota

Internet gambling in general is considered to be illegal under the existing Minnesota laws, though there is no specific mention of the internet or technology on the books. Interestingly, this State is moving forward with innovative gambling methods by allowing tablet gaming at sports events under their charity laws. These are electronic versions of ‘pull tab’ games, which are not exactly on a par with poker. However, it does show that the government here is open to new ideas and progress within the gambling area – which can only be a positive thing.

There is no current discussion within the government about internet gambling. The best case scenario would be for Minnesota to join a second wave of regulated States at some point down the line.

What Do The Minnesota Gambling Statutes Say?

The key illegal activity when it comes to gambling is the ‘bet’ itself. The wording on the laws does include the skill factor, meaning poker is covered along with the standard games of chance. What you will find is that everything is made blanket illegal, and then certain activity is carefully carved out. At this point the carve-outs include Tribal Casinos and State Racetracks, Charity gambling, social poker games and a lottery.

Here is the key working from the Minnesota Statutes, this is from Sub directory 2 of the gambling laws chapter:

…A bet is a bargain whereby the parties mutually agree to a gain or loss by one to the other of specified money, property or benefit dependent upon chance although the chance is accompanied by some element of skill

Just in case this did not already capture everything, there are further definitions covering ‘games’ which involves anything with cards, dice or mechanical machines (slots). It is hard to find a way to exclude any particular games from these definitions.

Minnesota Poker – Summing It Up

Residents of Minnesota have plenty of options when it comes to live poker games. There are some great card rooms at the race tracks and many more at tribal casinos all over the State. You can also enjoy a social home-game safe in the knowledge that you are completely within the law – as long as the pots are under $200.

There is nothing to indicate that State regulation of online poker will happen any time soon. At the same time there is nothing to indicate that Minnesota would not regulate once this spreads across the States – one to watch for sure.