Guide to Online Gambling in Montana
When you’re in Big Sky Country, you’ve got plenty of room to breathe. The fourth-largest state in the US is home to just over a million people. It takes longer than an average workday to drive across the state, and real money gambling in Montana can mean quite the trip
It’s perhaps no surprise, then, that MT online gambling is on the rise. When it comes to placing a sports a wager or playing casino games, the best Montana gambling sites have you covered.
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Montana online gambling was particularly newsworthy in 2019 when the state finally adopted sports betting. Even though MT was exempt from the PASPA restrictions (that other places were under since 1992), government officials weren’t interested until fairly recently.
In addition to the new 2020 Sports Bet Montana site, residents also have access to a state-run daily fantasy sports program, as well as online pari-mutuel betting. Some out-of-area real money gambling sites allow Montanans to participate. However, it’s a small percentage, so you have to know where to look.
Big Sky Country boasts more than 1,400 bars and clubs offering sports pools, table games, and VGM (video game gambling machines). There’s also a state lottery, two racetracks, six OTBs, and plenty to keep MT punters busy, even far away from the big city lights.
Best Montana Gambling Sites
The Montana State Lottery has become of the top providers for real money online gambling in MT. The state has been running its own daily fantasy sports program for years, followed by the most recent 2020 rollout of Sports Bet Montana.
ADW, or advance deposit wagering, is another web-based opportunity. Beginning in 2007, ADW companies were authorized to accept pari-mutuel bets from Montana residents, in addition to six OTBs and two racecourses.
Other viable real money gambling sites for Montana aren’t directly associated with the state. Many online casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms that open their virtual doors to MT players are based overseas.
They’re not the easiest to find, though. If you don’t have a guide or suggestions to give you a starting place, you’d need to go site to site and read the terms and conditions of acceptance.
Fortunately, we’ve done all of that work for you. Our team of experts has been busy reviewing online gambling sites from around the world. We’ve compiled a list of providers that welcome Montanans and meet or exceed our expectations enough to merit mention.
Legal Gambling in Montana
If there’s one word that describes Montana’s take on legal gambling, it’s “proactive.”
Legal betting began in 1937 with the Hickey Act. It gave liquor establishments, like bars and clubs, the opportunity to make extra money and provide for the state through authorized card games. What’s innovative about the bold move is that it’s accommodating to residents throughout the area.
The concept continues today, and it turns small venues across the state into mini casinos. That way, no one is left out if they want to play some cards. These days, there are also machines called VGMs at many spots. You can find as many as five VGMs in one location, and each can pay up to $800 for jackpots.
In 1973, that state progressed once again, passing the Card Game, Bingo, Raffles, and Sports Pools Act. It was the first agreement for charity bingo and other fundraising efforts. At the time, legislators didn’t know how impactful the sports pools aspect would be, beyond their popularity.
Sports Pools to Sportsbooks
Because of the active sports pools, Montana was grandfathered in and exempt from PASPA, which prohibited sports betting in the US.
The state was free to launch sportsbooks but, ironically, never took advantage of it until its sister states were also given the go-ahead.
Sports Bet Montana launched in 2020 with 142 licensed kiosk operators throughout the state and a website for mobile betting. Players can wager up to $250 at a kiosk. For higher stakes, the site allows for up to $1,000.
Just as MT has been proactive in peppering betting opportunities across its vast landscape, it’s also taken progressive stances with other real money gambling endeavors.
DFS and ADW
Instead of allowing the top DFS (daily fantasy sports) providers, the Montana Lottery launched its own DFS program. So, the state reaps more of the financial benefit by keeping everything in-house.
Additionally, ADW (advance deposit wagering) was approved in the early stages, allowing remote residents to make a pari-mutuel wager. Montana has six OTBs, but that’s not nearly enough to meet the demand.
Tribal Casinos and Online Casinos in Montana
So, Montana’s online gambling laws currently allow for DFS, ADW, and sports betting. When it comes to casino gambling, though, it’s a different story. Seven tribal casinos meet the needs of players who appreciate brick and mortar slots, table games, and other Vegas-style opportunities. But the casinos don’t have a web-based presence.
Thankfully, there’s a handful of reputable online gambling websites that accept MT players. They’re licensed in other jurisdictions and accommodate Americans with US payment options and licensed gaming software.
Present-Day Gambling in MT
- Casinos: Seven Native American casinos
- Poker: Legal table games hosted at bars and clubs across the state
- Pari-Mutuel: OTBs and ADW
- Lottery: Tickets available across the state
- Sports Betting: 142 kiosks and through the Sports Bet Montana app; sports pools in liquor establishments
- Daily Fantasy Sports: Legal through the in-state program operated by the lottery
- Charity Gaming: Bingo and raffles
- Online Casino Gambling: Out-of-area operators only
4 Types of Site for Gambling Online in MT
Over the past few decades, Montana has added three online gambling options for its residents, licensed and regulated by the state. The fourth opportunity is through betting and gaming sites originating in other jurisdictions around the world.
These are the three state-approved programs.
- ADW: Advance deposit wagering (pari-mutuel for horse racing)
- DFS: Daily fantasy sports provided by the lottery instead of national providers
- Sports Bet Montana: Online and mobile sports betting (also lottery-managed)
The fourth option is distinct, as it includes a variety of Montana online gambling sites, including casino gaming, poker, and sports betting. These are providers that aren’t licensed and regulated by the state but accept Montana players.
Our top-rated Montana gambling sites listed on this page mostly provide a range of options for gambling online. If you’re looking for something specific, check out the following pages.
Ranking Online Gambling Site for Montana
Online casinos and other betting sites, except for the state-regulated big three, aren’t licensed within Montana state lines. While they’ve opened their virtual doors to residents, it’s essential to locate the best of the best providers.
We wouldn’t recommend transferring money into the first real money gambling site that shows up in your internet search results. Shopping for an online casino or sportsbook is different than comparing prices on a laptop or setting up a Netflix account.
Identifying Reputable Gambling Sites for MT Residents
First of all, not all gambling sites allow Montana residents to use their services. So, you’ve got to locate a provider that’s welcoming to US players. But even that’s not enough, as you want to make sure it’s a reputable operation.
Our collective expertise shines in those two areas. The team has been reviewing and assessing which sites are the all-around best gambling sites for Montana and other spots in the United States and around the globe. We’ve got lists of which sites cater to particular areas, as well as reviews for each of them.
The Review Process
Reviews are an integral part of the process. We can’t move on to the rating and ranking part of the process until we’ve gathered all of the facts.
Before we make any recommendations or suggest the MT gambling sites that we feel are better than others, we methodically go through every online casino, poker room, and sportsbook.
Our reviews cover the following factors.
- First impressions
- Banking options, turnaround times, and fees
- Bonuses and promotions
- Customer service
- Player feedback
- Mobile access
Once we have all of the criteria in place, the list of top Montana gambling sites is whittled down to include only the very best.
Recapping our Montana Gambling Guide
Montana has a lot of ground to cover in accommodating its residents, whether its for gambling or other services. The population is spread out, especially in contrast to places like Rhode Island, Connecticut, and Delaware, where you could drive from one end to the other in a few hours or less.
The state has met a few geographical challenges with legal in-person table games and VGMs in bars and clubs. Another recently solution is launching some Montana online gambling programs, like advance deposit wagering, state-operated daily fantasy sports, and Sports Bet Montana.
When you combine the state-sanctioned sites with the best Montana gambling sites from other jurisdictions, no one is left out if they’re looking to gamble online for real money.