Montana is one of the very few states in the US where online gambling is explicitly illegal, to the disappointment of players from Montana. It’s unfortunate because Montana is also one of the states where gambling had existed in many shapes and forms even before the modern United States was born.
Today, many forms of gambling are legal. Still, online gambling is not even though no Montanan was ever punished for playing in offshore online casinos, which is undoubtedly confusing for Montanans. It’s precisely this weird dichotomy we are here to explain.
In this piece, you’ll learn everything there is to know about gambling in Montana, with a particular emphasis on online gambling and online casinos. Let’s take a look.
Here is a list of our top 5 recommended online casino sites to play at for real money from Montana.
Montana is one of the early adopters of gambling. Way back in 1889, the first law on gambling was made even though many forms of the practice existed for more than a century before that. After that, many new laws were made, legalizing all kinds of gambling practices and games.
However, online gambling hasn’t been made legal to this very day. What’s more, the state of Montana banned online gambling altogether in 2005. That’s why Section 9 of the Constitution of the state explicitly prohibits online gambling now. Still, it allows for the rule to be made void “by acts of the legislature or by the people through initiative or referendum.”
As if that weren’t enough, the state’s constitution also describes online gambling as a crime if it includes the use of paper money, checks, e-checks, and similar payment methods. In essence, online gambling where real money is involved is explicitly illegal.
Naturally, even though online gambling with real money is illegal, online social gambling is not. This means that Montanans can find dozens of social casinos on the web and play all sorts of casino games like blackjack, poker, slots, and many more. However, they won’t be able to cash in their wins.
Even though online gambling with real money is banned, that doesn’t mean that you can’t play in offshore online casinos. As is the case with almost all states in the US where online gambling is illegal, players will never be punished for playing in offshore online casinos. This is a common practice throughout the country and the state of Montana. To this day, no player from Montana was ever punished or penalized for playing in an offshore online casino.
When the authorities want to punish someone for online gambling, they will go for the casino making the practice possible, not the players. That’s why if you decide to play in an offshore online casino, you won’t have to fear of breaking the law. You only have to make sure that the casino you’ve chosen is legitimate, safe, and that it allows players from Montana to join.
Many states haven’t made online gambling legal, and almost all simply ignore it. However, Montana’s unfortunate case is such that its law strictly prohibits online gambling and leaves no room for compromises. This speaks volumes about the state’s firm resolution to keep online gambling illegal.
What’s more, the state’s position is also clear from the fact that the prohibition of online gambling was brought forward in 2005, and hasn’t changed at all since then. The only possibility for a change appeared in 2015 when a bill to legalize fantasy sports was brought forward, but it was ultimately voted down.
The law hasn’t discouraged offshore online casinos from offering their services to Montanans, and the casinos are unlikely to stop doing so in the future. The state rarely enforces the law and it never punishes players from Montana for participating in these casinos.
As for the future of online gambling laws, it’s unlikely that we will see any real changes soon. However, we can still hope that the state’s government will change its mind because of the ever-increasing number of online gamblers in Montana. Just as the state made sports betting legal in 2018, we can also hope that they will do the same for online casinos. But for now, there are no indications that this will happen any time soon.
As we’ve already said, gambling is not illegal like online gambling is. What’s more, gambling is extremely widespread in the state of Montana. Charities can offer almost all forms of gambling, and pari-mutuel horse race betting is also popular.
As for casino games, video poker is allowed on machines in hundreds of bars across the state, but the only places where you can play several kinds of casino games are the tribal land-based casinos.
Back in 1994, the state made an agreement with four tribes: the Cheyenne, Rocky Boy, Crow, and Fort Peck. After that, the first tribal casinos were born. More than two decades later, there are seven tribes with permission to operate land-based casinos in Montana. They own ten casinos in the state and four additional smaller gaming businesses that operate on tribal lands.
Anyone can play in these casinos as long as they are 18 or older. Furthermore, you can only bet a maximum of $5 at once and the maximum payout is $1,500.
Here is a list of these casinos:
|Apsaalooke Nights Casino||71 Heritage Road|
Crow Agency, Montana 59022
|200 slot machines, keno, poker, bingo|
|Charging Horse Casino||P. O. Box 1259|
1/2 Mile East On US Hwy 212
Lame Deer, Montana 59043
|127 slot machines, keno, bingo|
|Fort Belknap Casino||104 Assiniboine Avenue|
Harlem, Montana 59526
|100 slot machines|
|Glacier Peaks Casino||46 Museum Loop|
Browning, Montana 59417
|300 slot machines, poker room, bingo|
|Gray Wolf Peak Casino||20750 Hwy 93|
North Evaro, Montana 59808
|300 slot machines|
|KwaTaqNuk Casino Resort||49708 US Highway 93|
East Polson, Montana 59860
|250 slot machines|
|Little Big Horn Casino||closed|
|Northern Winz Hotel & Casino||11275 US Highway 87|
Box Elder, Montana 59521
|100 slot machines, poker room with 4 tables|
|Northern Winz II||426 Laredo Rd|
Box Elder, Montana 59521
|Silver Wolf Casino||300 Montana 25|
Wolf Point, Montana 59201
|60 slot machines, bingo, pull tabs, video keno|
No, the law explicitly forbids online gambling. However, offshore online casinos offer their services to Montana-based players who have never had any trouble with the law for spending and winning money in these casinos.
The legal gambling age in the state of Montana is 18. However, in raffles conducted by schools, churches, and charitable or nonprofit organizations, children under 18 can participate.
Unfortunately, there are no current plans for the legalization of online gambling. Sports betting was legalized in 2018, but everything else is likely to remain illegal for the next few years.
Technically no, but the state doesn’t punish Montanans for playing in these casinos. As long as you comply with the site’s rules, you can play their casino games without worrying that the authorities will punish you for it.
Online poker is illegal in the state of Montana, just like all other online casino games.