Report: Minnesotans Blocked From Online Betting 1.6 Million Times In 2023

Written By C.J. Pierre on January 24, 2024 - Last Updated on January 29, 2024
Photo of a man blocking someone from sportsbetting on a story about a report on how many Minnesotans were blocked from online sports betting in 2023

Sports betting is becoming quite the phenomenon across the US. Online sports betting is legal in nearly 40 states. However, Minnesota is not one of those states.

Over the past few years, if Minnesotans wanted to place a bet on the Minnesota Vikings or the Minnesota Twins, they’d need to travel to a state where they can legally place a wager. Unfortunately, a large number of Minnesota bettors who did make the trip to another state still could not successfully make a wager.

New analysis commissioned by the pro-legalization Sports Betting Alliance found that people in Minnesota tried and failed to access legal online sports betting sites in other states 1.6 million times in 2023.

Two border states have legal online sports betting

The members of Sports Betting Alliance are some of the leading operators of legal sports betting in the US. They include DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM and Fanatics. Sportsbooks use location data to block mobile bettors from using their services while in states where the practice is illegal.

Folks in Minnesota have a tempting solution, as neighboring Iowa and Wisconsin both allow legal online sports betting. According to the report, Minnesotans were blocked from placing mobile sports bets in other states 1.6 million times in 2023.

The report identified 100,000 mobile sports betting user accounts tied to Minnesota. About 60% of the thwarted attempts from Minnesota were trying to access online betting sites in Iowa, which legalized sports wagering in 2019. Thousands of the Minnesota accounts also logged activity from within Iowa’s borders. That suggests some people trying to bet on their phones while traveling.

As mentioned, sports betting is all the rage as more states legalize online wagering. However, it remains illegal in Minnesota. Lawmakers are at an impasse over who should be allowed to operate and profit from online sportsbooks.

Will sports betting become legal in Minnesota?

In any case, a bill legalizing sports betting will likely need bipartisan support to pass in the Minnesota Legislature. State Sen. Jeremy Miller is leading the charge at another attempt this legislative session.

The new bill, dubbed the Minnesota Sports Betting Act 2.0, is being discussed by lawmakers. The bill includes licensing opportunities for Minnesota’s 11 tribal nations to offer retail and mobile sports betting. Those license-holders would also have the option to operate retail betting on the premises of horse racing tracks or professional sports stadiums in Minnesota.

Tribal nations in Minnesota have insisted on exclusive rights to the licenses for in-person and mobile betting. However, this new proposal is already being met with some opposition from the two racetracks in the state. Canterbury Park in Shakopee and Running Aces in Columbus each want a piece of the pie.

Four neighbors of the North Star State (North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa and Wisconsin) offer some form of legal sports gambling. In the Dakotas, however, bets must be made in casinos or on Native American lands.

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C.J. Pierre

C.J. Pierre was a Lead Writer at Play Minnesota. He has been covering news and sports for over a decade for both online and TV broadcasts. He was born and raised in Minneapolis, MN and is an alum of Minnesota State University: Moorhead. He recently dove into tribal casino, sports betting and online gambling news. He also covered the launch of sports betting in Arizona. C.J. has experience as a reporter and videographer and has covered high school, college and professional sports throughout his career, most notably following Arizona Cardinals, Phoenix Suns, Minnesota Vikings and North Dakota State University football.

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