Whether you are from the United States or any other country, there are few people who would be surprised to find out that you do not know much about the state of Montana. Even people who reside in Montana may not be surprised to find out that you know very little about their state. Despite this, you will be happy to know that the state of Montana plays host to more than 100 casinos. The casinos in the state are, in truth, nothing like what you will find in other states where casino games are legal.
In fact, the way casinos in Montana exist today is a lot like they have always existed in the state. Ever since the 19th century, settlers, residents, and those simply passing through have played many casino games in Montana. It is a part of their long, storied history and that is something that very few people think will change anytime in the near future.
Montana Online Casinos
According to Montana Constitution gambling is illegal within borders of the state unless the games in question are regulated by the state. It may be argued that participating in internet games isn’t explicitly prohibited, but online gamblers can be charged with the possession of an illegal gambling device. The penalty is a rather large fine, but it’s worth pointing out that the local authorities haven’t attempted prosecuting any offshore sites’ customers on those grounds.
In the end, there’s no denying the fact that playing online in Montana is riskier than in the case of other states that haven’t passed dedicated iGaming laws, but that doesn’t really stop the local gambling enthusiasts from playing their favorite games over the internet.
Finding a site that suits your personal needs shouldn’t as difficult as it sounds, especially if you follow our set of basic guidelines. If you’re interested in casino games, you should always focus on bonuses and game selection first – the traffic comes second, as the amount of active players doesn’t determine anything aside from the jackpot dynamics.
Conversely, if you want to play poker, you have no other choice but to focus exclusively on high-traffic sites, as they offer better cash games and tournament prizes. Finally, if you’re interested in sports betting, you should compare the most popular sites in terms of prices, event coverage, and pre-match/in-play betting options.
Gray Wolf Peak
Northern Winz II
Gambling in Montana
Land-based gambling is fairly popular in Montana, so it should come as no surprise that local gamblers have access to a wide range of regulated games of chance. The available options include slots and table games offered by the local tribal casinos, pari-mutuel betting, charity gambling events, and a state-controlled lottery. Montana doesn’t have any iGaming-friendly regulations, so you’ll have to settle for US-facing offshore sites if you’d like to join the action online.
Casinos in Montana
The only casinos in Montana are situated on Native American reservations. Although the state of Montana bans brick-and-mortar casino establishments, the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act grants class two gaming licenses to all Native American tribes.
The tribes in Montana have yet to receive a class three gaming license, which means the game selection they can offer is limited. Slot machines, keno, and video poker can be found in many establishments. Table games such as Blackjack and Roulette are illegal, even on tribal reservations. Casinos are not allowed to accept credit cards or advance cash for gambling purposes.
Unfortunately for players looking to access offshore casinos, the Montana Gambling Control Division explicitly bans access to operators who offer online poker or table games.
Montana has set the legal age for gambling at 18.
Montana Sportsbooks & Sports betting
Recently, the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of state-level sports gambling regulation. Montana has started discussions about legalizing sports wagers, but the public response has been lackluster so far. Montana Department of Justice spokesman Eric Sell claims that the state doesn’t have the desire or volume to support sports betting. Until the demand for sports gaming increases, the chances of sports gaming legalization are low.
eSports and fantasy gambling
The state of Montana does not currently differentiate between wagers made on electronic sports (eSports) and traditional sports. As a result, making bets on eSports outcomes is illegal.
Montana has made significant progress towards legalizing daily fantasy sports (DFS) gaming. In 2017, Senate Bill 25 defined DFS gaming, which led to the creation of House Joint Resolution 21, a study of the positive and negative effects of DFS on a state. Until the study concludes, the future of fantasy gaming in Montana remains unknown. Should the study provide support for DFS, there is a high chance of the state legalizing fantasy sports betting.
Players may legally gamble on both live and simulcast horse races as long as the racetrack or simulcast facility carries a gaming license. Pari-mutuel wagers must be made on-track. The same rules and limitations apply to greyhound racing.
There is only one large race track in Montana – the Yellowstone Downs. However, two popular annual events host horse racing:
- The Great Falls Race Meet
- The Miles City Bucking Horse Sale
There is also a large selection of off-track betting establishments spread throughout the state.
Montana Poker Games
Live poker can be found in many of Montana’s bars and saloons. The Montana Gambling Control Division grants gaming licenses for poker quite liberally. The state is also home to several dedicated poker rooms, such as:
- Aces High Poker Room located in Butte
- Big Sky Poker Room located in Whitefish
- Cat’s Paw Card Room located in Bozeman
- The Flamingo Lounge located in Great Falls
Most poker rooms don’t host more than three-to-four poker tables, which makes bars the best option for finding games.
Anybody over the age of 18 can participate in the Montana state lottery.
The state offers a great spread of multi-state lotteries, including:
- Mega Millions
- Lucky for Life
- Hot Lotto
Montana also offers several in-state games, such as:
- Montana Cash
- 10 Sport
Lottery winners that have been assigned a social security number are taxed on the prize pool at a rate of 6.9% in state taxes and 25% in federal taxes on winnings higher than $5,000. Winners who do not have a social security number are taxed by the US at a rate of 28% on prize pools larger than $599.
All lottery taxes collected by Montana are used to fund the state General Fund, which provides funding to various public programs. Prize money must be claimed within six months of the award date; otherwise, it is given to the state. Any earnings higher than $600 may be subject to garnishment if the winner is delinquent on taxes or owes child support.
Charitable gaming events run by recognized non-profit organizations are exempt from the 18+ gambling age restriction. Montana takes a soft stance on charity gaming as long as 100% of the proceeds are donated, allowing all types of card games to be hosted, including:
The permit fee for charity gaming is $250, and prizes can’t be worth more than $5,000. The only dedicated Bingo parlor is the Big D Bingo & Casino located in Billings.
Montana Casino History
As was mentioned above, the history of casinos and gambling in general in Montana stretches further back than the constitution of Montana. By the time the area became an officially sanctioned state, there was already so much gambling happening across all areas of the state. The biggest money-earner and most popular form of gambling was by way of lotteries, of which there were hundreds. Of course, as it was in most of the rest of the country, the lotteries began taking a turn for the worse and ended up simply robbing people of their money.
Towards the end of the 19th century and in the early parts of the 20th century, Montana went the way of most other parts of the country and began outlawing most vices, including alcohol and gambling. While prohibition in other parts of the country lasted decades, Montana’s prohibition began collapsing in the early 1930s. By 1937, state lawmakers passed the Hickey Act, which once again made table casino games legal. As a provision of the act, whether or not casino table games would be legal is a decision that would be left up to individual counties. Though table games have been around since the 1930s, games like slots and video poker have been in a state of flux constantly. In the 1980s, the Video Poker Machine Act was passed and allowed for bars to host a specific number of video poker or video keno machines.
Something else worth noting about Montana casinos is the fact that, in 2005, an amendment to the state’s constitution made it outright illegal for citizens to partake in any form of online gambling. While most other US states see online gambling not listed as illegal but not strictly legal either, Montana has taken a firm stance and has outlawed the use of any and all online gambling. There is no real reason for anyone to believe that this is something that will change at any point in the near future.
Montana Online Gambling FAQ
How Do I Get Started?
Now that you hopefully know which site to pick, the biggest obstacle is out of your way and it’s time to sign up for a gambling account and make a deposit. You’ll also have to verify your personal information, which is necessary to prevent underage gambling.
How Do I Get My Money if I Win?
If you want to withdraw your winnings, simply open the cashier menu and place a cash out request. The site’s staff is guaranteed to process it within less than two days. The default payment method is almost always a wire transfer. This means that the entire transaction should be completed within the space of two weeks
What is the minimum age to gamble online in Montana?
Offshore sites that accept Montana residents require their customers to be 18 or older.
How do I open an account?
Opening an account requires you to fill out a registration form. This will obviously involve submitting some basic personal information. In addition, if you’re interested in gambling for real money, you’ll also have to validate your account by passing a simple identity check.
Where can I open my account from?
Most offshore accounts can be opened from any US state.
From where can I access Montana online gambling sites?
The sites that accept Montana residents allow unrestricted access from anywhere in the United States. However, playing from states that have already criminalized online gambling probably isn’t the best idea, so you should be aware of the local regulations if you’re planning to gamble as you travel.
Where can I familiarize myself with the official regulations over gambling in Connecticut?
Montana Constitution and Section 23 of Montana State Code.
How do I deposit to my online gambling account?
In most cases, your only option will be to make a standard credit card transfer. Please note that American Express cards tend to be rather unreliable and aren’t even supported by all Montana-facing sites, so you should consider using Visa or MasterCard instead.
How do I withdraw my winnings?
Most Montana-friendly sites allow you to pick between cashing out via a wire transfer and a check by mail.
Is my money safe?
You can rest assured that your money will be 100% safe with the sites listed here. As for the other sites, we recommend caution – you should always research a site that you aren’t familiar with before you decide to make a financial investment.
What body regulates gambling in Montana?
Overseeing gambling in Montana is the sole responsibility of the Montana Department of Justice Gaming Control.