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How did gambling develop into a major industry in Minnesota?

Gambling had been largely illegal in the state until half a century ago

Minnesotans wanting to gamble have many options these days. They can visit a Native American casino, buy scratch-off games at a gas station, yank open pull-tabs at a bar or even play bingo at a church fish fry.

But this is a fairly recent phenomenon. Minnesota's founders took a hard line against gambling, and the activity remained largely illegal in the state until a half century ago.

What happened? That's what reader Rob Kloehn asked Curious Minnesota, the Star Tribune's reader-powered reporting project. He got interested partly because of recent talk of legalizing sports betting in the state.


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