Gambling Laws In Montana

There are a number of federal and Montana gambling laws in place which hold influence over real money gaming in the state, including the Federal Wire Act of 1961 and the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 which both really have an affect on the legality of the industry. These laws completely outlaw the business of facilitating bets for profit anywhere on U.S. and Montana soil and are meant to bring down organized crime while leaving casual and social bettors largely alone. Nowhere is it written in the federal legislation that a citizen is unable to place a bet and people all across the country may legally gamble so long as it is not for profit off of others.

This has left much room for each state to enact their own gambling laws, however. Montana is one such state that has taken measures to elaborate on the federal laws as this site intends to outline what they are and inform residents of Big Sky Country what they may and may not do.

Legality of Gambling in Montana - Is It Legal?

The section on gambling in the Montana state constitution begins with "All forms of gambling, lotteries, and gift enterprises are prohibited unless authorized by acts of the legislature or by the people through initiative or referendum." We then skip forward to what the definition of the word gambling is for Montana and find it stated to be "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." So, very quickly we can see that this act is only allowed in a state licensed facility which has been authorized by either voters or lawmakers although there is a brief provision to allow "social card games played solely for prizes of minimal value". What is most important about all of this, however, is that there is no expressed penalty for unlawful gambling. The legislation is meant to regulate licensed facilities, not provide detailed punishments to participants of gambling. There are only penalties listed for the business of gambling, tampering with gambling devices or video machines and operating sportsbooks. We believe that anyone in Montana may do as they wish behind closed doors without worry of any prosecution.

Gambling in Montana is highly regulated, not illegal. Many residents may find the difference between the two difficult to differentiate but the act of gambling is not criminalized in the state of Montana. With that being stated, one should act with discretion as it is still unlawful to gamble unless authorized by the state to do so in a state licensed facility. There are no instances of authorities busting up poker games among friends or handcuffs being placed on someone because they simply wagered on the outcome of a football game with their dad. Now, counterfeiting or tampering in gambling will result in a felony which could mean hefty fines and prison time. As is the case with federal laws, it is highly illegal to facilitate bets for profit or operate a gambling scheme and Montana is no different. Residents must never, ever take their gambling to any higher level other than simply making a wager for personal winnings and that is the rule of thumb to follow when in Montana.

Montana is one of a few states which is allowed to provide some forms of sports betting due to being exempt from PASPA, however the state has not attempted to take advantage of this fact and does not have any brick and mortar sportsbooks. Residents will also find that the state has authorized many other forms of gambling such as slots, table games and live poker throughout the state with well over 60 gambling facilities present, 7 of which are Native American tribal casinos which operate under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act and outside of state regulations. An interesting fact that one must know if wanting to venture to any of these facilities is that state law makes it that gambling may only be performed on a cash basis.

Land-Based Gambling In Montana

Montana has 67 casinos within its borders spread out over 27 cities which feature pari-mutuel horse racing tracks, tables games, thousands of slot machines, poker tables and the ability to make wagers as low as a penny. Keep in mind that the gambling laws in Montana restrict slot machines to a maximum of $2 for bets and $800 for payouts. Perhaps one of the more popular gambling attractions is the Glacier Peaks Casino with hundreds of slot machines, table games and even live poker. Many Montana residents are eagerly awaiting the building of soon to be Montana's largest casino in the Fort Peck Reservation. The Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community agreed to loan the Fort Peck tribes $29 million for a $34 million project which will boast a full Las Vegas style gaming experience with over 400 gaming machines, poker and 75 hotel rooms.

Online Gambling In Montana

Montana is one of the few states which has taken steps to bring internet gambling into its legislation and it should not be ignored when looking to wager online. "Internet Gambling" is defined in the Montana State Code under 23-5-112(20)(a). While we know from discussing Montana laws earlier that most gambling outside of licensed facilities is deemed unlawful yet it is not criminalized so long as not in the realm of the business of gambling. This would appear to be true for internet gambling as well as there have been many residents in Montana using online gambling sites without investigation or prosecution for their actions. Since it legal to place a bet under federal law and only illegal to facilitate bets within U.S. jurisdiction, it is therefore okay for residents in Montana to simply visit an online gambling site that is outside of both Montana and U.S. regulations. There are a vast number of sites which meet this condition and finding the most reputable and reliable sites are easy as many of them have been in service to the American public for years and are well known.

Popular Gambling Options In Montana:

Online Sportsbooks - Online Casinos - Online Poker

Bovada - Best All-Around Legal Gambling Site For Montana

By far the safest and most reliable online gambling site for those in the state of Montana is Bovada. Having initially started as the popular American web-site 'Bodog', this highly regarded company only moved to neighboring Canada after changes made to federal laws prevented them from facilitating bets for users while on American soil. They continue on to this day with by far the best gaming options through casino classics, poker, horse racing, political and entertainment wagers and of course, sports betting. Bovada is well aware of both federal and state laws and only offers membership to those who are able to lawfully utilize their services and Montana residents should be happy to know that they are absolutely within that legal umbrella of safety.

New users from Big Sky Country are able to sign-up and become full-fledged members within moments and the banking transactions are discreet as well as secure. Locals in Montana often receive checks for their winnings delivered straight to their home addresses within 10 business days after making a withdrawal request. There is a reason that Bovada stands above all others in the online gambling site community and they are our clear top recommendation for anyone in Montana wishing to place a legal bet online.

Legal Montana Gambling Sites
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What Is The Legal Age To Gamble In Montana?

The legal gambling age, as set by Montana gambling code, is 18 years of age for all residents and visitors alike whether at a land-based gambling facility or at gambling sites in Montana. We would never recommend that anyone take the chance of underage gambling because it can lead to serious consequences, and if caught, can even leave residents out in the cold when they do reach the designated age. Bottom line: it's just not worth it so don't risk it; there will be plenty of time once you've eclipsed that magic mark.

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