Is Online Poker Legal in Minnesota?
While not one of the harshest states out there when it comes to the definition of illegal gambling, and the subsequent punishments, it is still pretty strict compared to some of the other states out there. You will see that with the broadness of the definition of gambling. Let’s take a little look.
In Minnesota the definition of gambling is as follows:
Whoever does any of the following is guilty of a misdemeanor:
(1) makes a bet;
(2) sells or transfers a chance to participate in a lottery;
(3) disseminates information about a lottery, except a lottery conducted by an adjoining state, with intent to encourage participation therein;
(4) permits a structure or location owned or occupied by the actor or under the actor’s control to be used as a gambling place; or
(5) except where authorized by statute, possesses a gambling device. 
A bet is defined as the following:
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. 
So in short, if it isn’t regulated, it is highly likely that it is going to be an offence within Minnesota. Both players and operators of course face completely different charges, although from what I can tell, it is operators which are ending up faces charges more often and players are let off. However, what you need to bear in mind is that Minnesota is a particularly strict state when it comes to enforcing the law.
When it comes to regulated gambling, there are a number of options including casinos, race tracks and a lottery.
Casinos and Live Poker
There are a number of different options that you have in Minnesota if you fancy a game of poker. This includes the casinos and racetracks, both of which offer live poker as one of their gambling options. In addition to this, social poker is completely legal as long as nobody is making any money from the game being run, and it cannot be a regularly scheduled event. There also appears to be exceptions within the law which allow for poker to be played in ‘small money’ tournaments.
While there is no specific mention of it, it is fair to say that online poker is illegal within Minnesota. Over the years the government have tried to push through legislation prohibiting it (and failing) and making mentions that this type of play is frowned upon. However, they have mentioned that there would be great difficulty in trying to enforce the legislation as it would invade all manners of privacy. However, it is excluded by legislation that I mentioned previously anyway.
It is unlikely that online gambling will be regulated in Minnesota any time soon, there is a lack of interest in the legislation going through, and since nobody is mentioning it, it won’t pop up soon. Although to be fair, stranger things have happened.