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Gambling in Montana: What Is and Isn't Legal

Posted on May 28th, 2019

When giving advice to gambling businesses in Montana, it’s vital that you understand what’s legal and what’s not legal. Gambling laws vary from state to state, and evolve over time.

The consequences of getting things wrong can be severe. You need to know how to get it right every time, and keep your knowledge up to date for each and every state you operate in.

Here’s everything you need to know about the laws which surround gambling in Montana.

Age Restrictions on Gambling in Montana

First, it’s good to be clear on legal gambling ages.

In Montana, you must be over 18 to gamble. If you’re 18 years old, you may gamble in a casino, which is a relatively rare allowance within the USA. However, some states operate two minimum ages, depending on whether or not the casino is serving alcohol.

The only exception to the ‘over 18s only’ rule is if a person wants to take part in a raffle. So long as its run by a charity, nonprofit or an organization like a school or a church, these are fine at any age.

Which Types of Gambling Are Legal?

In terms of legal gambling in Montana; sports betting, poker, horse racing and lotteries are all permitted. Video gambling, charitable and social gaming is also fine.

To operate a gambling premises, the owner must hold the correct license. Interestingly, in Montana, this means that the business must also hold a liquor license.

Which Types of Gambling Are Illegal?

There are some types of gambling in Montana which are illegal. These include dog track betting, fantasy sports betting and online gambling.

The illegality of online gambling raises some issues to be ironed out. A business may not operate an online gambling business within the state. This has been the case since the law was changed to clearly prohibit online gambling in 2005.

What about gamblers who want to take part in online gambling? Well, while you can play poker legally in a real life casino, playing the same game online is illegal.

But what if a gambler uses an internet connection in Montana but they’re playing on an online gaming service which is outside the state?

By the letter of the law that’s still illegal. But there are a number of online gambling websites hosted in other states which have no issue with Montana residents signing up.

It is less clear whether this law is enforced stringently. But anyone living in the state should be forewarned that there could be potential legal consequences.

What Other Montana Laws Do I Need to Know About?

Are you running any sort of gambling operation in Montana? If so, you’ll need to be familiar with some other laws beside the core laws affecting gambling legality.

Tax law, for example, is a large concern when running any business in the state.

If you need more advice or legal help in any area of business within Montana, get in touch. We can arrange a consultation so that our experienced lawyers can provide expert legal advice on your situation. Contact us today.


Fill out the form below to get in touch with our legal team or call Bozeman office at (406) 582-8822 or our Helena office at (406) 449-4829 to talk to someone right away.