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Gambling in Montana

After a long history of banning many types of wagering, the attitudes toward gambling in Montana are slowly changing. The state was the first in 2019 to introduce new sports gambling laws and it might have a knock-on effect into other areas. Though it has traditionally been heavily regulated in Montana, online gambling might be legalized here sooner than we think.

After a long history of banning many types of wagering, the attitudes toward gambling in Montana are slowly changing. The state was the first in 2019 to introduce new sports gambling laws and it might have a knock-on effect into other areas. Though it has traditionally been heavily regulated in Montana, online gambling might be legalized here sooner than we think.

Available in this state

Online Sports Betting Montana

Montana was one of four states to be considered “exempt” from the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PAPSA) of 1992. This is because the Treasure State already had extensive laws in place. Following the US-wide introduction of PAPSA, legislators would go on to ban all forms of internet gambling in 2005. However, PAPSA was then overturned by the Supreme Court in 2018 and it gave way to many new changes to laws.

In Montana, sports betting was legalized in 2019 thanks to House Bill 725. It was sponsored by Rep. Ryan Lynch and signed into law by Governor Steve Bullock on May 3rd, 2019. This law allows Montanans to engage in sports betting at regulated sportsbooks locations throughout the state. Control of these licensed locations was placed into the hands of the state lottery for at least seven years. Thanks to the Montana Lottery, sports betting is now available for residents in safe and regulated environments.

However, Montana sports betting is not currently legalized for online play. Gamblers must either use a terminal in a sportsbook’s brick-and-mortar location, or they can use an app within that location. Placing bets anywhere else within the state is not permitted. Players must be 18+ to participate in sports betting in Montana.

With the spare population of Montana, online gambling might not see further regulation for some time. What’s more, Montana lacks major sports franchises. For in-state games, sportsbooks would only be able to offer odds on minor leagues or collegiate sports. If betting at the land-based casinos proves to be popular, we might see online gambling in Montana legalized in the future. Should any updates appear, you will find them on this page.

Online Casinos Montana

Like sports betting, casinos in Montana have a long history of heavy regulation. Although charitable and tribal casinos are permitted, commercial and online casinos are banned. While legislators have shown some interest in legalizing online sports betting, the same cannot be said about online casinos.

It is illegal to operate an online casino within the state borders of Montana, and it would also be illegal to play there. Some sites claim that players can get around this by signing up for off-shore casinos. However, this might not always be the safest path. There is a strong chance that these sites are not safe for players to use. It might not be secure, leading to your sensitive data and information getting leaked online, or they may try to wrongfully withhold your winnings. Until new regulations are introduced in Montana, online casinos should not be accessed by players.

If a Montanan player does want to indulge in some casino games, they can either hop a state border to somewhere that does allow online gambling or they could visit one of the land-based casinos. There are ten casinos owned by federally-recognized tribes around the state and many other locations that offer slots and other casino games. Any venue with a liquor license can have up to twenty gaming machines so many of Montana’s bars have some sort of machine in a corner or a poker table for customers.

However, table games are mostly banned in Montana. Even in regulated casinos, you probably won’t find games like blackjack and roulette available for play. Many slots are also closer to bingo or keno games than true slots.

Lawmakers are in no rush to introduce regulations concerning online casino gambling in Montana. However, there is always the chance that a new bill could be introduced to the State House of Representatives. You will be able to find coverage of any new changes to the law here on this page when they arise.

Online Poker Montana

Much like online casino play in Montana, online gambling in the form of live internet poker is banned. It was one of the forms of gambling banned by state laws in 2005. Many sites attempt to get around this ban by claiming that you can sign up for overseas sites to play. However, since sites are not regulated at a state level, any online destinations offering residents of Montana live poker games cannot be fully trusted. Just as with internet casinos, there is a chance that these sites might not be secure and not a good place to share your sensitive financial data.

Live poker games and video terminals are available at the regulated land-based casinos, as the state considers it to be a game of skill. If you want to legally play competitive poker in the Treasure State, heading to one of these destinations will be the only truly legal opportunity for you. However, the law states that the prize fund can be no larger than a maximum of $800.

If any bills are introduced with the aims of changing the legality of online poker in Montana, you will find more information on this page.

Daily Fantasy Montana

While states on the East Coast are slowly introducing regulations for daily fantasy sports, things are a little slower in the Western states. In Montana, fantasy sports games are only available from the state lottery. Under State Code Section 23-5-802, players are not allowed to wager on fantasy sports by telephone or the internet. This law has meant that many of the popular daily fantasy sites such as DraftKings and FanDuel have not been able to operate in this state.

Fantasy sports are one of the most popular pastimes in the United States and allow gamblers to get involved with some of their favorite sports. If legislators decide to allow residents of Montana online gambling in this form, you will be able to find coverage of the bill’s progress on this page.

Online Lottery Montana

The state lottery in Montana was created following a referendum in 1986. The first ticket was sold on June 24th, 1987 to then-Governor Ted Schwinden. Though he did not win, the first $10,000 jackpot was won four hours later.

Nowadays, players can take part in several games throughout the week. The Montana Cash game draws twice a week with a minimum prize of $40,000 while the Big Sky Bonus is a progressive jackpot that draws daily. Montanans can also take part in the multi-jurisdictional games Loot America, Lucky for Life, Mega Millions, and Powerball.

You must be 18+ to buy lottery tickets in Montana. State law prohibits the purchase of tickets through the lottery’s website or an app. You can only buy tickets from one of the many licensed retailers around the state. However, you can find the winning numbers online. Participants can also choose to join the Player’s Club for second chance draws and exclusive online-only games.

Other Important Gambling Facts Montana

At least 45% of the revenue generated by the state lottery must be returned as prizes. Once administration costs are removed, the remaining money is returned to the state government. This money is used to support the state’s General Fund and the Montana STEM Scholarship program. $623 million has been paid out in prizes since the lottery’s inception in 1987 and $270 million has been transferred back to the state for other projects.

Gambling Montana Conclusion

Though it might seem like there is little chance of full regulation of gambling in Montana, change can happen at any moment. Many states are beginning to adopt new legislation and growing pressures from neighbors might cause Montanan lawmakers to reconsider their current regulations. The legalization of sports betting is a great start and we shall hopefully see new changes and opportunities come to online destinations soon. If any changes do arise to the law, you will be able to find news and coverage of them here.

FAQS

Online gambling is banned in the state of Montana. There are no state-regulated online casinos Montanans can visit if they wish to play casino games, though there are several land-based destinations they can visit instead.

In 1937, the state passed the Hickey Act which allowed the state’s counties to approve table games. Since then, various bills have legalized or banned forms of gambling in Montana over the years. The lottery was introduced in 1985, but online gambling was banned in 2005, and online daily fantasy sports followed suit in 2015.

Table games in Montana are banned. This means that you won’t find games like blackjack available at casino destinations in this state.

Online fantasy sports are banned by Montana online gambling regulations. Due to this ban, DraftKings do not offer their products to players in the state of Montana.

Author

Jennifer Marsh

Jennifer is constantly on the lookout for the latest updates on US gambling legislation. She has a soft spot for blackjack and poker, but spends a lot of time writing about other facets of the online gambling world as well.

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