Betting in Montana is legal for those 18 years and older who visit one of the state’s tribal casinos, which offer video gaming machines like slots and poker plus table games such as blackjack, craps and roulette. Other legal activities include betting on licensed horse and dog races along with parimutuel wagering, video poker and keno with a liquor license and charitable gaming including bingo and raffles.

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Gaming Laws in Montana

Montana State Code Section 23-5-110 defines illegal gambling as “risking any money, credit, deposit, check, property, or other thing of value for a gain that is contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, or the operation of a gambling device or gambling enterprise.”

In 1985, the state legislature passed the Video Poker Machine Act, allowing five poker machines per liquor license and unlimited keno machines. Two years later, Montana passed a 15 percent tax on video gambling machine revenue that would take effect in 1988 and later become known as the Video Gambling Machine Gross Income Tax. In 1991, the limit for poker machines was increased to 20 video gambling machines per liquor license.

Montana’s Gaming Control Division regulates all forms of gambling outside of the lottery and horse racing, and it is also responsible for collecting gambling revenue for state and local governments.

Tribal Casinos

There are nine tribal casinos in the state of Montana, six of which are classified as Class III with slot machines, blackjack, craps and roulette. These include the Silverwolf Casino, Buffalo Rivers Casino Lodge, Northern Winz Casino, Apsaalooke Nights Casino, Fort Belknap Casino and Charging Horse Casino. The other three classified as Class II are Glacier Peaks Casino, KwaTaqNuk Resort Casino and Gray Wolf Peak Casino with bingo-type games.

Sports Betting in Montana

Sports betting is not allowed in the state of Montana.

Online Sportsbooks

Even though there are no sportsbooks available at physical locations or online in the state of Montana, bettors still have the opportunity to choose from many offshore options. Offshore sportsbooks are widely considered to be a much safer option than local bookmakers. In addition to having the convenience of placing bets right from a personal computer or mobile device and a variety of options, online bettors can trust reputable and well-reviewed offshore books to always offer lines and pay out, which may not always be the case for local bookies.

Poker and Casino in Montana

Poker and other casino games of any kind are not allowed in the state of Montana outside of tribal casinos.

Online Poker

Because poker rooms are banned in the state of Montana outside of tribal casinos, online games may appeal to interested players who can pursue offshore poker websites in order to participate.

Other Gaming Options in Montana

Betting on licensed horse and dog racing and on-track parimutuel wagering is legal in Montana. Charitable gaming is also allowed within the state, including bingo and raffles.

Montana Lottery

The Montana Lottery began in 1987 with the sale of the first scratcher ticket. Lottery proceeds go to the state’s General Fund, which is used for programs, including education, health and public safety. Lottery games range from instant-win scratchers to jackpot drawings such as Powerball, Mega Millions and Montana Millionaire.