Montana Sports Betting

With a handful of traditional casinos and over 100 smaller gambling venues, Montana is home to an incredibly large number of land-based gambling options. Although there are plenty of gambling venues in the state, Montana’s gambling industry still has plenty of room to grow. The state has outlawed online gambling, and online daily fantasy sports games are also considered illegal. Let’s take a closer look at where the Treasure State stands on sports betting.

Is it legal to bet on sports in Montana?

Yes, sports betting is legal and live in Montana. In May 2019, Montana became the first state to legalize sports wagering in 2019, after Governor Steve Bullock signed HB 725 into law. With the passage of the legislation, the Montana Lottery was authorized to offer land-based and online sports betting.

Governor Bullock also received another sports betting bill but chose not to sign it. The other bill, SB 330, would have legalized land-based, online and mobile sports betting across the state. While both bills sought to legalize full-scale sports betting in the state, the Senate bill would have allowed multiple commercial operators to offer sports betting in Montana.

HB 725, also known as the Sports Wagering Lottery Amendment Act of 2019, authorizes the Montana Lottery to offer land-based and mobile sports betting in Montana. The Greek lottery giant Intralot, will be responsible for running the state’s sports betting operations for the next seven years. Intralot will also be responsible for overseeing the rollout of mobile sports betting across Montana.

Sports betting in Montana went live in March 2020, with the installation of sports betting kiosks at more than 100 licensed Lottery agents across the state.

In addition to sports betting, punters can place wagers on horseracing and a state-operated fantasy football game. Bets can be placed at one of the state’s racetracks, off-track betting venues or online, at websites such as BetAmerica, TwinSpires and TVG.

Where can I bet on sports in Montana?

Currently, Montana bettors can wager on sports in person, by visiting one of the state’s authorized lottery agents and placing a bet on a physical betting kiosk. The law also allows for the creation of a mobile app that can be used while at a licensed property, but this has yet to go live.

What sports can I bet on?

Residents in Montana can bet on a variety of sports including football, basketball, hockey, baseball, soccer, NASCAR, boxing and UFC. Residents can bet on major leagues such as the MLB, NBA, NFL and NHL, as well as collegiate leagues such as the NCAA football and basketball contests. 

What else can I bet on in Montana?

The Montana Lottery offers a variety of games including scratch tickets and inter-state drawings. On top of this, residents can participate in charitable gambling activities provided they are licensed by the state.

Montana does not permit commercial casinos to operate in the state, instead, over 1400 license holders can offer video poker games. License holders can house up to 20 video poker machines in any venue that serves alcohol. The state law also allows social games of poker to take place as long as the prize does not exceed $800.

Although commercial casinos are illegal, the state does permit tribal gambling at a handful of tribal casinos. Five tribal groups in Montana have entered into gambling compacts with the state. These compacts allow Montana’s tribes to offer Class III gambling options. At these tribal venues, patrons can enjoy a variety of casino games such as:

  •    Slots
  •    Blackjack
  •    Roulette
  •    Craps
  •    Poker
  •    Bingo

Here are the tribal casinos that operate in the state:

Casino name Location Phone number Email Opening Hours
Silverwolf Casino 300 MT-25, Wolf Point, MT 59201, USA +1 406-653-3475 Not available Monday – Thursday 10am – 12am

Friday – Sunday 10am – 2am

Glacier Peak Hotel & Casino 46 Museum Loop, Browning, MT 59417, USA +1 406-338-2274 Online form Monday – Sunday 8am – 2am
Northern Winz Hotel and Casino 11275 US-87, Box Elder, MT 59521, USA +1 406-395-5420 Not available Sunday – Thursday 10am – 12am

Friday – Saturday 24 hours

Gray Wolf Peak Casino 20750 US-93, Missoula, MT 59808, USA +1 406-726-3778 [email protected] Monday – Wednesday 8am -3am

Thursday 8am – 12am

Friday – Saturday 24 hours

Sunday 12am-3am

KwaTaqNuk Resort Casino 49708 US-93, Polson, MT 59860, USA +1 406-883-3636 Online form Monday – Sunday 8am – 3am
Fort Belknap Casino 104 Assinibione Ave , Harlem, MT 59526, USA +1 406-353-2235 Not available Monday – Sunday 10am – 2am
Charging Horse Casino & Bingo 1/2 Mile East On US Hwy 212

Lame Deer, MT 59043, USA

+1 406-477-6677 Not available Monday – Sunday 8am – 2am

Are offshore gambling sites legal in Montana?

No, just as online gambling sites are illegal in Montana, so are offshore gambling sites. Legality aside, we recommend staying away from offshore for several reasons. The first being that they are not regulated or licensed to operate in Montana. This means that they are not bound by the same regulatory standards as Montana’s legal gambling industry. As a result of this unlicensed operators may not have industry standard player protection and security measures in place.

There is no guarantee that your play funds will be safe with offshore betting sites. This is because you have no idea who is handling the funds you deposit. Licensed operators are usually required to hold player funds in accounts separate from their own, or that of any other players.

You can spot offshore gambling sites by looking at the website’s domain name – domains ending in .EU or .AG aren’t licensed to operate in Montana.

Is it safe to bet on sports in Montana?

Yes, sports betting is closely regulated by the state lottery to ensure it is safe, fair and fun for all involved. However,  it is still up to punters to ensure they are gambling responsibly. You should never bet more than you can afford to or view gambling as a way of coping with hardships. If you are concerned about your gambling habits or your risk of developing problem gambling, there are several educational resources available in Montana. 

Regardless of who regulates sports betting, it is still up to punters to ensure they are gambling responsibly. You should never bet more than you can afford to or view gambling as a way of coping with hardships. If you are concerned about your gambling habits or your risk of developing problem gambling, there are several educational resources available in Montana.

The National Council on Problem Gambling offers educational resources, a helpline and advice on treatment. Montana residents can also reach out to the Montana Council on Problem Gambling, a non-profit organization that aims to educate and provide support to those struggling with gambling addiction.

You can contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline via:

Phone: 1-800-522-4700

Text: 1-800-522-4700

Live Chat

You can contact the Montana Council on Problem Gambling via:

Phone: 1-406-438-1276

Helpline: 1-888-900-9979

Email: [email protected]

Who regulates gambling in Montana?

The Gambling Control Division, part of the Montana Department of Justice, is responsible for regulating all forms of gambling except for the horseracing and the Montana Lottery. The state lottery is overseen by the Montana Lottery Commission and betting on horseracing is overseen by the Board of Horse Racing within the Montana Department of Commerce.

How old do I have to be to gamble in Montana?

To participate in any form of gambling in Montana you must be 18 or above. An exception to this rule, according to the Montana Department of Justice, is raffles conducted by churches, schools and charitable organizations, which can be entered by “children under 18 years old”. However, the minimum age requirement is not stated.

The journey to legal and regulated sports betting in Montana

1889 – Montana lawmakers banned all forms of gambling.

1925 – Horseracing events were held in the state despite being illegal.

1937 – The state of Montana passed the Hickey Act. This allowed each county to approve table games.

1950 – A bill that would have legalized casino gambling was rejected by voters.

1973 – Bingo and raffles games were made legal under charitable gambling laws.

1976 – Voters reject proposed legislation that would have created a state gambling commission.

1984 – The state declared that video poker machines were illegal under anti-slot machine laws.

1985 – The state government approved the Video Poker Machine Act. This allowed bars and venues that serve alcohol to install up to five video poker machines.

1986 – Voters approved the Montana Lottery.

1987 – The Montana Lottery went live, and the first tickets went on sale.

1992 – Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibiting sports betting across US states. Montana was one of four states that were made exempt from the law, alongside Nevada, Delaware and Oregon. These states had legal sports betting regulations in place and had laws grandfathered in under PASPA.

1994 – The state signed compacts with four different tribal groups allowing them to offer casino-style gambling on their land.

2005 – Online gambling was outlawed.

2015 – A bill that would legalize daily fantasy sports was rejected.

2018 – On 14 May, the Supreme Court reached a decision on the legality of PASPA. In a seven to two vote, it was agreed that one of the clauses in PASPA violated the Tenth Amendment, as its commandeered power from states to regulate their own gambling industries. This paved the way for all US states to decide whether or not to legalize sports betting. In the weeks after the repeal of PASPA a number of US sportsbooks launched across the country.

2019 – In March, lawmakers in Montana introduced three bills that would legalize sports betting in Montana: SB 330, HB 475 and HB 725. They would also see a different regulatory body in charge of the activity. HB 475 would charge the board of horseracing with regulating sports betting, while SB 330 would put the state’s Department of Justice in charge instead. HB 725 would see the state lottery becoming responsible for regulatory oversight of sports betting.

In May, Montana became the first state to legalize sports wagering in 2019 after Governor Steve Bullock signed HB 725 into law.

2020 – Sports wagering went live with the installation of sports betting kiosks at lottery agents across the state.

For more regulatory updates on sports betting in Montana, Compare.bet has got you covered.

 

The people behind this page

Compare.bet's online gambling content experts helped write, edit and check the content on this page:

Jake is a gambling content specialist for Compare.bet, with a focus on the regulated US market. He is responsible for producing news content for Compare.bet News, state guides for Compare.bet US and has interviewed several senior executives within the gambling industry. Jake previously wrote for Gambling Insider and LGBT+ news site PinkNews.