A bill to define Minnesota daily fantasy sports as games of skill rather than gambling was expected to pass in April 2018. To everyone’s surprise, the bill was defeated instead with 74-48 votes. Rep. Jim Davnie said that the regulatory structure in Minnesota was insufficient: “The corruption and fraud accusations for this industry are everywhere and we are not sufficiently providing protection to Minnesotans who choose to bet on daily sports gambling entities.”
- We know how important it is to stay up to date with all the latest industry news. That’s why we keep an eye on trusted sources like the Star Tribune and the Minnesota Daily.
- There is a lot more to us than just sports betting! If you want information other areas of the gambling industry, take a look at our other pages. We have everything from info on slots to an online poker guide.
- We make sure that we stay on top of any changes to local laws by following regulatory bodies such as the Minnesota Gambling Control Board and the Minnesota Indian Gaming Association.
Online Daily Fantasy Sports in Minnesota – Overview
While Minnesotans are actively using DFS sites like DraftKings and FanDuel, the daily fantasy sports industry is currently not recognized in state law. It is estimated that there are one million DFS players in Minnesota, so it is not surprising that the Minnesota daily fantasy sports situation has received such attention in the Senate.
The bill designed to formally recognize and regulate DFS received a huge amount of support when it was first brought up in the House in 2016. That is why it was such a surprise when, a year later, it failed miserably. Despite this failure, DFS has not been made illegal in Minnesota and so residents can still use DFS sites without fear or prosecution.
Let’s take a look at what is on offer.
Online Daily Fantasy NFL – Minnesota Vikings
Just like the real thing, NFL fantasy is extremely popular. This is often especially true in states where there is a vested interest in the sport due to the state having a team in the league. Minnesota falls into this category as the Minnesota Vikings have been playing in the NFL since 1961. If you want to participate in the NFL league, you can draft nine players into a team and enter into a public competition, or a private one just with your friends. When choosing your players, you are required to stay within the set salary cap as well, so think about who it worth the money!
Online Daily Fantasy NHL – Minnestoa Wild
NHL is not always as popular a league as some of the bigger American sports. However, for Minnesotans, this is not the case. The Minnesota Wild team might be a fairly new team (founded in 2000) but they made their first Stanley Cup appearance just two years later. As with the NFL, the NHL requires nine players in your fantasy team, which you must draft while sticking within the salary cap. Most sites have quite specific instructions for the players you choose. If you are playing on DraftKings, for example, you must draft two centers, three wingers, two defensemen, one goalie, and one utility spot.
Online Daily Fantasy MLB – Minnesota Twins
Unlike the NFL and NHL teams, the Minnesota Twins have been around for some time already. The team was founded in 1894 and raised to major league status in 1901. The name refers to the Twin Cities area made up of Minneapolis and St. Paul. Having a state team to support can make a fantasy game far more interesting, and residents of Minnesota have various sports and teams from which to choose! Fantasy MLB teams have ten players, no more than five of whom can be hitters. Again, you can choose to enter your team into a public or private contest, depending on how confident you are feeling!
Online Daily Fantasy NBA – Minnesota Timberwolves
Yet another sport where Minnesotans can have a vested interest! The state has a team in the NBA, based in Minneapolis: the Minnesota Timberwolves. The name for this team was chosen through a “name the team” contest, where the two final contenders were the Timberwolves or the Polars. When playing fantasy NBA, you have a salary cap of $50,000 with which to buy all your players. You must draft eight players from at least two different NBA games: a point guard, a guard, a shooting guard, a small forward, a power forward, a forward, two centers, and one utility player.
College Ice Hockey – Minnesota Golden Gophers
The Minnesota Golden Gophers play for the U of M and have a total of 23 teams in both men’s and women’s sports. Particularly of note is the women’s ice hockey team. The team competes in Division I of the NCAA where it has won six NCAA championships. It has also been a regular season champion eight times in the Western Collegiate Hockey Association (WCHA) and tournament champion five times. The Gophers holds the longest winning streak in women’s or men’s college hockey, with 62 games from February 2012 until November 2013. The team is clearly extremely successful and garners the appropriate amount of attention for its success. It has been ranked in the top two teams for attendance since becoming a varsity team. It even holds the second largest single-game attendance record from women’s collegiate hockey, with 6,854 fans attending.
Timeline of Daily Fantasy Sports Legislation
Gambling laws in Minnesota cover four main categories: charitable gambling, the lottery, pari-mutuel horse racing, and tribal gaming. Just the fact that these four categories exist tell you that Minnesota is friendlier towards gambling than many other states. But has that always been the case? We take a look at the history of gambling in Minnesota.
If you are interested in finding out more about gambling in general in the state, you can also have a look at our dedicated Minnesota gambling page.
|1945||The first gambling laws are introduced in Minnesota. They cover charitable gambling which are put into five categories: pull-tabs, bingo, raffles, paddlewheels and tip boards.|
|1972||Minnesota launches its state lottery. Starting with only local draws, the governing body now oversees scratch card and multi-state lotteries like the Powerball as well.|
|1983||After a five-year long debate, pari-mutuel betting is finally approved. Canterbury Downs racecourse opens within two years. The second racetrack, Running Aces, only opens over twenty years later.|
|2000||Card rooms offering poker are regulated, although the games must only be small stake games.|
|2014||Minnesota trails an online lottery and instant win games. The trail was abruptly halted in 2015, as it drastically split political opinion.|
|2019||Legal sports betting in St Paul is pitched again by lawmakers. There are numerous hurdles in the way of the bill, despite politicians’ optimism.|
Legal Daily Fantasy Betting Age in Minnesota
The legal gambling age in Minnesota is actually a slightly complicated topic. It can be said that the minimum gambling age is 18 years old but this does not tell the whole story. No one under the age of 18 may gamble in Minnesota, but the casinos are actually allowed to set their own age limits. This means that at some casinos you must be older than 18 – often 21 years old – despite the state only requiring people to be 18. It is more likely to see a casino with a minimum age of 21 years if that casino also serves alcohol, since the drinking age in Minnesota is 21 years old.
DFS Betting AgeYou must be at least 18 years old to play DFS in Minnesota.
Alcohol AgeThe minimum drinking age in the state of Minnesota is 21 years old.
Weed AgeThe use of marijuana for recreational purposes is still illegal in Minnesota.
Is Daily Fantasy Betting Legal Outside of the State?
Daily fantasy sports are legal to some extent in the majority of US states. The only states where you cannot play DFS at all are Arizona, Hawaii, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Nevada, and Washington. The US is by far the biggest user of daily fantasy sports sites, and more and more states are formally legalizing the game.
Of course, Iowa neighbors Minnesota, which brings us to the question of its other neighbors. Like Minnesota, most of its neighbors are currently still in a bit of a gray area regarding DFS. In Michigan, Wisconsin, and North Dakota, DFS has not been ruled illegal, but the states also have not passed legislation to make it explicitly legal either. These situations mean that residents can play on sites like DraftKings without fear or prosecution, as in Minnesota.
The Best Fantasy Sports App in Minnesota
Everyone is on their phones almost constantly now, so it makes sense that people would want to be able to play DFS from them as well! Fortunately, the majority of DFS sites have optimized their websites for mobile use, so you should have a smooth and simple experience. There are also various downloadable apps from operators as well, which make choosing your team and checking in on them super easy. We have tried them out and chosen our favorite for you.
Taxes on Daily Fantasy Winnings: Legal Overview
If you are a resident of Minnesota, you will pay taxes on all of your gambling winnings; winnings are subject to both federal tax (25%) and Minnesota state tax. This includes winnings from outside of Minnesota, as well as from online gambling. You should keep a record of information about your winnings, such as the date and type of gambling activity, the name and location of the venue, and the amounts you spent when you won or lost.
In Minnesota, you can deduct gambling losses on your income tax return. You cannot, however, deduct more in gambling losses that you report in gambling winnings on your federal income tax return.
For more information on this subject, it is a good idea to check out the Minnesota Department of Revenue.
Upcoming Regulation Changes to Be Aware Of
After the shocking turn of events in the Senate, which lead to the DFS bill being stalled, it is difficult to predict what will happen next in Minnesota. It is likely that the legalization and regulation of sports betting will be the next big change in the state. A new bill was revealed just a few months ago to allow tribal casinos to operate sports betting.
There are currently eleven federally recognized tribes which operate nineteen gambling venues in the state. If the bill went through, these properties would be the only ones allowed to seek sports betting licenses. So far, the bill has passed a committee in the state Senate, but it is possible that that is as far as it will go, due to blowback from some of the tribes.