Minnesota Online Poker Law
People in Minnesota may be known as some of the friendliest people on the planet, but that hospitality doesn’t extend to proponents of online poker.
Despite a robust gambling population that supports 19 casinos, as of late 2013, there was no movement towards online poker legalization in Minnesota in the form of any bills, or even informal talk among the state’s legislators.
Tribal nations will have a huge role in the future of online poker in Minnesota.
All but two casinos in Minnesota are Native American casinos run by the following tribes: Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, Bois Forte Band of Chippewa, Grand Portage Chippewa, Lower Sioux Indian Community, Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, Upper Sioux Indian Community, Red Lake Band of Chippewa Indians, and the White Earth Band of Ojibwe.
This miniature nation within the state of Minnesota will most likely lead the way if and when online poker and casino gambling comes to its residents. The other two casino properties are racetracks that double as casinos and card rooms.
If a federal online poker bill ever manages to get approved, look for the tribes to fight tooth and nail to prevent Minnesota from allowing its residents access to sites outside its border. The tribes will do everything they can in order to get a piece of the online poker pie, no matter how it will affect the most important part of the whole online poker equation: the consumer.
Although Minnesota lawmakers seem to be open to online expansion, in 2009 it tried to force Internet service providers to block certain gambling sites using a law written 40 years ago. A judge ruled the state was out of line.
This shouldn’t be interpreted as being a hostile move toward the thought of online poker. Officials were simply trying to protect the state’s licensed, taxed, and regulated casino industry, and that includes protecting jobs of its residents, as well as the powerful casino industry.
This is an issue that likely will come up in all states that have a significant Native American casino industry whenever talk turns to online poker legalization. It’s been a major hurdle in California, and must always be considered when trying to predict the future of online poker in the United States.
When Can I Play Online Poker in Minnesota?
With an established casino industry, there’s hope that once other states start approving online poker and casino gambling, that Minnesota is likely to follow. The state already allows wagering online through its lottery site, where people can buy tickets online. But since there has been no online poker or casino legislation even talked about by lawmakers, look for online poker to come to Minnesota no earlier than 2016.
What’s Minnesota’s Potential Online Poker Population?
With about 300,000 potential players, Minnesota’s online poker players would benefit greatly if officials decide to join an intrastate poker network. Unfortunately for those players, the poker pie must be cut nine different ways, making it seem unlikely.