April 17, 2024 3 min read


Running Aces Files Lawsuit Against Three Minnesota Casinos

In its lawsuit, the company claimed that three leading casino operators in the state gained "illegal and unfair competitive advantages" by expanding their offering without authorization

One casino, racetrack and hotel in Minnesota, Running Aces, filed a new lawsuit against three of the state’s largest casino operators, claiming they violated the gambling regulations. In its lawsuit, the company pointed out that it currently lawfully offers a range of popular casino games, including Ultimate Texas Hold’Em, Three Card Poker and blackjack, among other card games.

Running Aces named as defendants three of the largest casinos in Minnesota, the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe-owned Grand Casino Hinckley and Grand Casino Mille Lacs as well as the Prairie Island Indian Community-owned Treasure Island Resort & Casino. The defendants, the company said, offered Class III gaming activities, such as card games, in violation of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA) of 1988.

In its legal complaint, Running Aces acknowledged the strong position each of the three casinos holds, adding that they “fight to preserve their dominance.” The company said that the trio has been continuously trying to block efforts by Running Aces to grow its offering.

At the same time, Running Aces claimed that the three leading casino operators have “vastly expanded their own gaming operations in blatant disregard of clear criminal prohibitions.” The racetrack cites requirements under IGRA between the three casinos and Minnesota which requires them to limit casino games to blackjack and slot machines.

An Illegal and Unfair Competitive Advantage

Describing the alleged breaches, Running Aces said that Treasure Island Resort & Casino breached its gaming compact in the period before October 2023. This is when the operator’s license was amended to include Class III card games.

On the other hand, two Grand Casinos currently offer Class III card games, including Three Card Poker and Ultimate Texas Hold’Em, although such games are missing from their tribal-state gambling compact, claimed Running Aces in its lawsuit. Ultimately, the company said that the “violations have given defendants’ casinos illegal and unfair competitive advantages over Running Aces.”

All that we have ever sought was to be treated fairly, compete on a level playing field, take advantage of improvements within the pari-mutuel environment, and operate without fear of being eliminated.

Taro Ito, CEO of Running Aces

Taro Ito, Running Aces’ CEO, revealed that the company wants to grow and operate in a market that is fair. He added that the racetrack wants to compete with others on a level playing field without concerns about the potential of being eliminated. Finally, Ito said that Running Aces wants to present its concerns and facts and let a court decide on the outcome.


Jerome is a welcome new addition to the Gambling News team, bringing years of journalistic experience within the iGaming sector. His interest in the industry begun after he graduated from college where he played in regular local poker tournaments which eventually lead to exposure towards the growing popularity of online poker and casino rooms. Jerome now puts all the knowledge he's accrued to fuel his passion for journalism, providing our team with the latest scoops online.

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