Minnesota Illegal TikTok Casino Gambling Ring Being Heavily Investigated

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
Mobile app casino


  • Two unnamed men, brothers, are accused of running the ring
  • One of the men has already been kicked out and banned from the casinos he frequented
  • The pair won $15,000 on a slot machine last month

A pair of Minnesota TikTokers are accused of running an illegal gambling ring right from their phone. 

According to an agent with the Minnesota Alcohol and Gambling Enforcement Division (AGED), two men are charging a 25% premium to place bets at slot machines in Minnesota casinos on behalf of their followers. They record the bets being placed and the eventual outcome and broadcast it for everyone to see.

Minnesota law prohibits gamblers from placing bets on anyone else’s behalf. An investigation has been launched into the matter.

First-of-its-kind crime

The AGED revealed in a filing at the Hennepin County District Court last week that the two mobile bandits frequented the Mystic Lake Casino in Prior Lake and the Treasure Island Resort & Casino in Welch. 

The case is one-of-a-kind in Minnesota, which added slot machines and tables to its list of legal casino offerings in 1988 but has not legalized online casinos.

"Prior to [this] case, we have had no other cases of that nature reported to us," said Nicole Roddy, a spokesperson for the agency.

The American Gaming Association also said that it is not aware of any cases like this one. Vice president for government relations, Alex Costello, said the criminals’ actions “violate casinos' ... anti-money-laundering protocols and are a threat to our financial system.”

The two suspects are unnamed at this time. However, a search warrant affidavit described a 39-year-old man from Edina, and his younger brother. The latter has been involved in illicit escapades before but is not always present. 

The account used by the pair has 165,000 followers worldwide. Videos on the account imply the operation has been going on for at least three months and show everything from gambling floors to cash winnings, including a $15,000 jackpot last month.

According to the agency, the 39-year-old charges a $5.99 subscription to all of his followers who take advantage of his gambling service. He also takes $25 from $100 deposit, regardless of the resultant wins or losses, which is not exactly standard protocol for how to place a bet with a bookie.

The AGED has asked the court for permission to access the man’s financial records and payment app login history dating back to October, among other requests.

Investigators catching on

The TikToking tandem had already raised suspicion from casino authorities prior to being highlighted in court. A January 12 live stream on the account contained footage of a man complaining about being kicked out of Mystic Lake during an earlier visit.

Later that day, he was pictured sitting outside of Treasure Lake and told the camera that he had been handed a permanent trespass notice.

A spokesperson for the Prairie Island Indian Community, Eric Pehle, said they were informed of the man’s criminal controversy on January 6 and banned him on the ninth. He came back and was removed from the casino's premises on the 12th.

The Prairie Island Gaming Commission chimed in and said that users are allowed to collect and broadcast footage from the casino floor but cannot place bets for any of their online followers. 

“When we learn of potential threats that could harm the business or call into question its integrity, we act swiftly,” said Prairie Island Gaming Commission executive director, Clayton Tix. “That's exactly what the Gaming Commission did when we learned that an individual was using his social media platforms to place bets for others.”

A state agent said that she witnessed the illegal gambling ring firsthand after joining a live stream. Her observations were similar to those registered by other tipsters, which included a Las Vegas resident and the mother of a 16-year-old Pennsylvania would-be gambler.

The unnamed man claims that all of the money sent his way is either donations or deposits. However, one TikTok user asked in the chat of a live stream if the minimum bet was $100 or $200; the man told him that he must have meant donation, and then informed him that it was $125.