Sports Gambling and Minnesota…Not Yet
Until recently, sports gambling has been banned at the federal level. Things changed in 2018 with the Supreme Court’s decision in Murphy v. NCAA, 138 S. Ct. 1461 (2018), where the Court overturned a federal ban of sports gambling. In the time following this landmark decision, 25 States, including the District of Columbia, have passed legalized sports betting in some capacity. However, Minnesota has not yet passed, or even proposed, any form of legalized sports gambling.
Under Minnesota Statute § 609.755, the act of placing a bet, except where authorized, is a misdemeanor offense. With no authorized sports gambling in Minnesota, individuals who wish to bet on sports must go through third parties, often known as “bookies.” The act of going through a third party to place a bet on sports is known as sports bookmaking. Sports bookmaking is defined by Minnesota Statute § 609.75 as “intentionally receiving, recording or forwarding within any 30-day period more than five bets, or offers to bet, that total more than $2,500 on any one or more sporting event.” Under Minnesota Statute § 609.76, sports bookmaking is a felony offense. To be clear, the act of placing the bet is a misdemeanor, but operating as a “bookie” is a felony level offense. If you are convicted of operating as a “bookie,” you could be facing a substantial fine and jail time exceeding one year.
While many states have moved towards legalizing sports gambling in the last few years, Minnesotans will just have to wait.