The 11 Best Casinos Near Minneapolis & St. Paul (All within 2.5 hours!)

casinos near minneapolis and st. paul

Feeling lucky? Good thing Minneapolis and St. Paul have a surprising number of casinos near the Twin Cities!

Sometimes though, between the flashing lights and excitement of riches, it can be hard to keep all those casinos straight.

Confusing things even further, the state of Minnesota has some strange casino regulations, where most casinos are split between “mostly slot machines” and “mostly card games” but for whatever reason, the two are rarely combined.

Thankfully, I’ve thought back on all my trips to the local casinos, reached out to some much more experienced gambling friends of mine, and finally, put together a definitive list of the closest and best casinos near Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Twin Cities Map of Casinos Near Minneapolis & St. Paul

The 5 Main “Twin Cities” Casinos

Around Minneapolis & St. Paul, there’s a couple casinos that are so close to the metro area that us locals have adopted them as our own.

These casinos are essentially located in Twin Cities suburbs, and many feature a drive that rivals the morning commute of many Minnesotans.

1. Mystic Lake

Distance from Minneapolis: 35 minutes

It’s no surprise that Mystic Lake is probably the most popular casino near Minneapolis. With a massive 125,000 square foot gaming floor and an attached 600 room hotel, Mystic Lake is the largest casino in all of Minnesota.

Gambling here features a staggering 4,000 slot machines and hundreds of blackjack tables, which range from $1 minimum to $1,000 max, plus bingo and pull tabs.

There’s also multiple restaurants, bars, showrooms, and even an attached golf course.

Location wise, the casino couldn’t be more convenient for Minneapolis locals and visitors. The casino sits a short 35 minute drive southwest of the cities. And for those who can’t be bothered to drive, Mystic Lake even runs a free bus service from the Twin Cities to the casino each day, with the most popular pickup spot being the Mall of America.

  • Website: Mystic Lake
  • Address: 2400 Mystic Lake Blvd NW, Prior Lake, MN 55372


2. Little Six Casino

Distance from Minneapolis: 30 minutes

Little Six Casino is Mystic Lake’s sister property, located just a mile down the street from Mystic Lake. (There’s a free shuttle that runs between the two properties.)

In many ways, Little Six offers an opposite experience to its big brother. This smaller casino features just a handful of blackjack tables and far fewer slots, but some visitors prefer the more laid back vibe.

  • Website: Little Six
  • Address: 2450 Sioux Trail NW, Prior Lake, MN 55372

3. Canterbury Park

Distance from Minneapolis: 30 Minutes

Canterbury Park is a horse racing track and casino located just 30 minutes south of Minneapolis in the cool small town of Shakopee, MN.

The main draw here is arguably the live horse racing and gambling, but Canterbury also features an impressive casino. While you won’t find any slot machines here, you will find one of Minnesota’s most impressive collections of table games, including tons of Blackjack, Texas Hold’em, Baccarat, and other poker tables.

Canterbury is also notable in being one of the only smoke-free casinos in Minnesota. And for what it’s worth, most of my more serious gambling friends say Canterbury is their favorite casino near the Twin Cities.


4. Running Aces

Distance from Minneapolis: 30 Minutes

Running Aces is another live horse racing track and casino, located just 30 minutes north of Minneapolis.

Like Canterbury, you won’t find any slot machines, but you might not miss them. As the name implies, Running Aces includes plenty of live horse racing and card games. Those card games include tons of blackjack options and various poker games, but you can even find bingo and comedy shows here.

Running Aces is another one of the rare smoke-free casinos in Minnesota, which I consider to be a positive.

  • Website: Running Aces
  • Address: 15201 Running Aces Blvd, Columbus, MN 55025


5. Treasure Island Resort

Distance from Minneapolis: 50 Minutes

Treasure Island is about an hour south of the Cities, just outside the scenic small town of Red Wing, MN.

Treasure Island markets itself around the Twin Cities as a “Resort & Casino” and that resort part is pretty accurate. At Treasure Island, you’ll find plenty to keep you busy even if you’re not gambling.

There’s an indoor water park, a family-friendly arcade, a 24-lane bowling alley, nine bars and lounges, and even a mini-cruise line that will take you on scenic rides up and down the Mississippi River. Oh, and don’t forget the live entertainment, both in the 3,000 seat indoor venue and the 16,000 seat outdoor space.

As far as the casino, you’ll find slots-galore, with over 2,000 different slot machines. There’s also a modest collection of table games, including blackjack and poker, as well as bingo and pull tabs.


6 Casinos Within a Short Day Trip from Minneapolis & St. Paul

If you’re willing to drive a little further, there’s a bunch of other casinos located around northern Minnesota and Wisconsin.

At just an hour or two away, these make for a fun day trip. That said, pretty much all of these options have attached hotels, so crashing overnight is an easy convenience, too.

1. St. Croix Casino Turtle Lake

Distance from Minneapolis: 1 hour 30 minutes

Anybody from the Twin Cities who’s ever driven to Northwest Wisconsin has probably passed St. Croix Casino in Turtle Lake. That big bright logo, complete with its cheery green turtle, always does its best to wave passerby into the casino floor.

If you ever do stop in, you’ll find a somewhat divey casino packed with a variety of games. Of course, there’s slots, blackjack, and poker. But one notable part about Turtle Lake’s casino? It’s one of the only places to play Roulette in the area. Not that silly electronic version, either. But the live, real deal!

Oh, and Craps, too!


2. Grand Casino Hinckley

Distance from Minneapolis: 1 hour 20 minutes

Part of the Grand Casino family, this Hinckley location is just over an hour north of Minneapolis. Getting there couldn’t be simpler – just hop on 35 North and keep driving until you reach Hinckley. The casino, and its 300-room attached hotel, is right off the exit.

The focus at this casino is slots, with over 2,000 different machines. Grand Casino Hinckley also includes a small handful of blackjack tables, bingo, and pull tabs.

You’ll also find an attached arcade, golf course, and concert/show arena.

  • Website: Grand Casino
  • Address: 777 Lady Luck Dr, Hinckley, MN 55037


3. Grand Casino Mille Lacs

Distance from Minneapolis: 1 hour 40 minutes

Mille Lacs Lake is one of the largest and most popular lakes near the Twin Cities, and as the name implies, Grand Casino Mille Lacs sits right near that lake.

While the casino is not technically on the water, and instead sits across the street, it’s certainly close enough that a trip could be combined into some sort of lake get-away.

In any case, Grand Casino Mille Lacs features thousands of slot machines and a small collection of blackjack tables. There’s also bingo, pull tabs, and on-site entertainment, including an arcade and concert venue.

  • Website: Grand Casino
  • Address: 777 Grand Ave, Onamia, MN 56359


4. Black Bear Casino

Distance from Minneapolis: 2 hours

Black Bear’s 12-story hotel casino opened in 2008. It sits just two hours North of the Twin Cities and 20 minutes south of Duluth.

Here, you’ll find thousands of slot machines, a small collection of blackjack and poker tables, and bingo. The hotel also includes a 30,000 square foot event center and a nightclub/cabaret space.


5. Fond-du-Luth Casino

Distance from Minneapolis: 2 hours 20 minutes

Sure, this place is kind of tiny. Sure, you might see pan-handlers in front of the strange downtown Duluth location. But regardless, the fact that the blue-collar shipping town of Duluth features its own casino is pretty darn cool.

This means you can enjoy all the things to do along the North Shore during the day, rewind at one of the many up and coming Duluth breweries or distilleries in the evening, and then gamble the rest of your night away, right in town.

Gambling here is almost entirely slots, with approximately 700 machines.

  • Website: Fond-du-Luth
  • Address: 129 E Superior St, Duluth, MN 55802


6. Sevenwinds Casino, Lodge & Conference Center

Distance from Minneapolis: 2 hours 45 minutes

The last and farthest casino on our list sits in the popular lake-vacation town of Hayward, Wisconsin. Located just under 3 hours from Minneapolis, the town of Hayward features a large collection of lakes which has served as a popular Twin Cities summer-refuge for decades.

Of course, that vacation destination wouldn’t be complete without a casino. So, the Sevenwinds Casino includes around 600 slot machines and several table games, including Blackjack, Poker, and live Craps and Roulette.


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