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Montana Gambling Laws

Gambling, whether it's horse-racing or slot machines, is regulated at the state level. Generally speaking, all legalized gambling within the state of Montana is limited to:

  • Poker
  • Keno
  • Bingo
  • State Lottery
  • Video line gambling machines are legal with a maximum $2 bet and $800 payout

Legal Age to Gamble

The legal age for gambling in Montana is 18, with the exception of raffles conducted by churches, schools, charitable and nonprofit organizations. Children under 18 years old may participate in these.

Live Games

Legal live games include: raffles, bingo, keno, panguingue, poker and shake-a-day. Sports pools, fantasy sports leagues and sports tab games are also legal. These are non-banking games in which players bet against and settle with each other rather than betting against and settling with the house.

Gambling in Montana and Credit Cards

It is legal for gambling operators to accept debit cards in order to provide cash to customers. Credit cards may not be accepted for such purposes.

Gambling operators MAY NOT:

  • Advance cash for gambling in any type of credit card transaction
  • Refund cash for goods or services purchased with a credit card
  • Overstate the value of food or beverages sold in a credit card transaction in order to return cash to the customer for the purpose of gambling
  • Sell gift cards, gift certificates, vouchers, money orders, or other instruments or devices that may be redeemed for cash.

Gambling on Native American Land

All gambling on Native American land is authorized by the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), a federal law.

Gambling Control Division

The Gambling Control Division regulates all forms of gambling in Montana, except for the Montana Lottery and horse racing. The division is also responsible for collecting gambling revenue for state and local governments.

The following table highlights the basics of Montana laws pertaining to gambling. See Details on State Gambling Laws for a general overview.

Code Section 23-5-110 et seq.; 23-4-101 et seq
Definition of Gambling "Gambling" or "gambling activity" means 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.
Horse Racing Live or simulcast horse races at licensed racetracks or simulcast facilities legal. Parimutuel, on-track wagering only.
Dog Racing/Off-Track Betting Live or simulcast greyhound races at licensed race tracks or simulcast facilities legal. Parimutuel, on-track wagering only.
Casinos Allowed? Video gambling devices legal. Gambling devices otherwise prohibited.
Other Kinds of Gambling-Related Activities Allowed or Banned Fishing derbies; wagering on natural occurrences; gambling activities sponsored by nonprofit organizations; possession of antique slot machines; shaking dice for a drink or music; Calcutta pools; bingo; Keno and raffles; sports pools and tab games; fantasy sports leagues authorized. Bookmaking, pool selling, prohibited.
Gambling Addiction Assistance Montana Council on Problem Gambling

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Montana gaming attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

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