When it comes to land-based gambling in Montana, there are stacks of options available to players. But as for Montana online casinos, state lawmakers have made it clear that internet betting in any form will not be tolerated.
So, you can enjoy casino games, slots and poker at licensed premises across the state. In addition, video gaming machines are found in numerous bars and restaurants across Montana, and are one of the state’s most profitable forms of tax revenue with more than $60 million generated each year.
Poker can be enjoyed in bars, and there are a number of poker-oriented venues, with an emphasis on charitable gaming. You can also play the state lottery in Montana, which is among the oldest in the country.
As for sports betting, Montana is behind the curve. Though it was one of four states with an exemption under the old Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), by and large, they have so far failed to capitalize on this, with only limited horse racing betting available.
Gambling legislation in Montana dates back more than a century, and there have been plenty of changes since. There have been positives and negatives, but Montana is arguably one of the most relaxed states when it comes to betting - though that's not the case when it comes to the internet.
Section 9 of the Montana Constitution prohibits gambling “… unless authorized by acts of the legislature or by the people through initiative or referendum.” So, while some forms of betting have been legalized, currently there is no legislation that allows online gambling in Montana. Section 23-5-112, subsection 20(a) also states that Montana online gambling is a crime “when using paper money, paper checks, e-checks and similar options.”
Many people get confused about the laws regarding online poker in Montana.
Poker is legal, but only when played in conjunction with a registered charity. Prizes are minimal in size, and there are stringent rules about how long games can last. As far as Montana online poker is concerned—just as with other online gambling—it is seriously frowned upon as it is illegal in Big Sky Country.
The main racetrack in Montana is the famous Yellowstone Downs, which has been around for more than 75 years. It is here that sports betting in Montana is legal; both on the live races at the venue and the simulcast of other tracks across the US.
As of 2018, there were no plans to introduce wider Montana sports betting despite the fact that the state had a limited exemption under PASPA; they have simply chosen not to allow sports gambling.