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Casinos in Montana are actually fairly easy to come across. In fact, for a state that seems conservative in so many other areas, it is a surprise to some that they are so liberal with regards to gambling. (They were one of the first states to legalize sports betting following the SCOTUS ruling on the federal ban). There are some restrictions on the casinos in Montana though. US players who choose to visit these casinos will find that they only offer slots. This is because table games are not allowed to be played in the state.
If you would like to learn more about online casinos and gambling in Montana, then make sure to carrying on reading our guide. Below we have a good look at all the legal forms of gambling in the Big Sky Country, how gambling laws work and the list of casinos in the state. So, read and find out all you need to know about gambling in the great state in Montana!
There are a few gambling options available to US players living or visiting the state of Montana. We have listed all available options below:
Online Horse Racing Betting – so far, this is the only form of online gambling permitted in Montana. Players are only able to bet on horse races taking place at tracks in the state. Other than horse racing, gamblers in Montana are not allowed to bet online. Even daily fantasy sports sites are illegal.
Poker – taverns which hold a specific license are allowed to run poker games. Many compare the experience to that seen in old Western films. These establishments are only allowed to run certain versions of the game, including Omaha, Texas Hold’em and Seven Card Stud. The cash prize is not allowed to exceed US$800 at a time.
Lottery – the state does run a lottery that also features daily fantasy sports events. It is the only state to run such events in tandem with the lottery.
Slots – literally any bar in the state that holds a liquor license is also allowed to offer up to video slot machines. Oftentimes, the word “casino” is used quite loosely in the state.
Sports Betting – gamblers in Montana are allowed to bet on sports at accredited sportsbooks. Pretty much any bar or tavern that holds a liquor license in the state is able to accept wagers.
Native American Casinos – there are 14 casinos located on Native American reserves spread across the state. The only really difference between casinos and taverns is that taverns are restricted to 15 slot machines or fewer. Neither of the two are allowed to offer table games other than poker.
Montana Gambling Laws Explained
As mentioned above, there are a wide number of gambling options available in the state because of the rather lax laws associated with gambling as a whole. There are a few things worth noting to make sure that you don’t participate in anything in illegal, such as the following:
The only form of legal online gambling in the state is horse racing betting.
Slot games and sportsbooks are widely available. Any bar or tavern that holds a liquor license may also own slots and run a sportsbook. Such venues are not allowed to have more than 15 slot games on their premises at one time.
Native American casinos are the only venues in the state that are allowed to have more than 20 slots on the casino floor. Many have hundreds available to play, such as the Apsaalooke Nights Casino,
Table games are forbidden at all venues except or poker. Taverns are able to run poker tournaments but only Texas Hold’em or Omaha is allowed to be played. Pot prizes are not allowed to exceed US$800.
List of Brick and Mortar Casinos in Montana
As mentioned above, the term “casino” is used quite loosely in Montana. Instead of listing every single bar that allows patrons to play slots while they drink, we have listed only the venues that provide players with a more substantial offering of games:
Apsaalooke Nights Casino – Crow Agency
206 Slot Machines
71 Heritage Road
Best Western KwaTaqNuk Casino – Polson
232 Slot Machines
49708 US Highway 93 East
Fort Belknap Casino – Harlem
146 Slot Machines
104 Assiniboine Avenue
Glacier Peaks Casino – Browning
300 Slot Machines
Highway 2 and Highway 89
Gray Wolf Peak Casino – Evaro
118 Slot Machines
20819 US Highway 93 North
Northern Winz Casino – Box Elder
207 Slot Machines
11031 US Highway 87
Northern Winz Casino – Rocky Boy
72 Slot Machines
Rocky Boy Road
History of Gambling in Montana
When Montana was first ratified as a state in 1889, gambling was considered illegal. The form of gambling to ever be made legal in the state was table games in 1937 but that did not last long. When slots started becoming popular across the country, the state did adopt the new innovative form of gambling but then outlawed it too in 1950.
The story of gambling in Montana began to change in 1973 when voters allowed state officials to determine the legality of such activities. Soon after, bingo, poker and keno games were all made legal forms of gambling.
In 1980, the first video poker machines started making their way into bars. It was the controversy around video poker machines that eventually led the state to introduce a 15% tax on the practice in 1987. The 1980s also the creation of the state lottery.
In the 1990s, the first Indian casinos in Montana came into formation as the state enter pacts with tribes in 1994. While these casinos attempted to introduce table games (and did so for some time), these gambling options were outlawed again in 2003, with the exception of poker.
In 2005, the state passed legislation that made all forms of online gambling illegal with the exception of horse racing betting. In 2019, the state made sports betting at brick-and-mortar venues legal.
Gambling and Casinos in Montana FAQs
What is the gambling age in Montana?
The minimum gambling age is 18 for some forms of gambling whereas to 21 is for video lottery games and poker casinos.
How many casinos are in Montana?
This depends on your definition of a casino. As the term is very loosely used in the state, it is suggested that there are more than 200 casinos spread across the Big Sky Country. However, that said, most venues are limited to 20 slot games or less. If you are looking for more traditional casino experiences, there are 14 casinos with loads of gaming options.
Why are there so many casinos in Montana?
Well, the answer to this is simple. The state’s laws allow any venue that holds a liquor license to offer up to 20 slot games too.
Is online gambling illegal in Montana?
All forms of online gambling with the exception of horse racing betting is illegal in Montana.
Are table games legal in Montana?
No, table games are illegal in Montana with the exception of poker. Gamblers in Montana are not allowed to play blackjack, baccarat, craps or roulette.
Does Montana have a state lottery?
Yes, it does. The Montana state lottery operates in three different formats: keno-style games, scratch cards and daily fantasy sports games.