Montana Online Sports Betting

Montana State gambling Laws

Montana’s gaming history follows a similar pattern that has been shared by many the other Mid-Western and Western States. Montana’s early settlers brought gambling games with them to the pioneering lands, which exploded in the 1800’s with raffle type games. A crack-down followed and in 1910, a complete ban on gambling as conservative interests won out in Montana.

After the dark days of the great depression, a slow rebuild has ensued – leading to today’s wide choices for the state’s residents and visitors. The state was ‘grandfathered’as a state where the Federal ban on sports betting NEVER applied to complement its very own unique Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions, legal casinos, horse racing, poker, lottery and charitable gaming.

Legality of Sports Betting VS Gambling

The state of Montana offers a great choice of legal gaming options that include sports gambling, in-state DFS, horse racing, poker, lottery, casinos and charitable gambling.

Sports & Gambling Type Legal Land-Based Legal Online
Sports Betting Yes No
Casinos Yes No
Fantasy Sports (DFS) Yes No
eSports Yes No
Poker Yes No
Horse-Racing Yes Yes
Lottery Yes No
Charitable-Gambling Yes No

MontanaSports Betting Tax Rates

Montana has a 6.9% state tax on gambling winnings.

Large gambling wins over $600 in the state of Montana may possibly attract an additional Federal Tax.

Contact your tax attorney to assess your potential Federal tax liability if you have a big win in Montana.

Sports betting Age VS Gambling Age in Montana

Including legal sports betting (when it is again available), all forms of legal gambling have a minimum age limit of 18 years-of-age in Montana.

Sports &Gambling Type Age
Sports Betting 18 (when options are again available)
DFS 18
Casinos 18
Horse Racing 18
Lottery 18
Charitable Gambling 18

Betting on Sports in Montana

Despite the May 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision (when the State of New Jersey won its case to overturn a generation-old nationwide ban since 1991 on sports betting), there is are still no major forms sports betting available in the state of Montana. However, this is more to do with choice and the widespread nature of Montana’s small and sparse population, than any problem with passing state gambling laws on legal sports betting in Montana.

Montana is one of only 4 states (along with Delaware, Nevada, and Oregon) who were grandfathered out of the aforementioned Federal ban on sports betting.

Montana has the right to legally offer sports betting but until now has not decided to exercise its right, and sports gambling in Montana is limited to fantasy football and motor racing events where players bet on particular players or drivers, and the games are administered under the auspices of the state lottery authorities.

Montana Online Sports Betting Laws

In Montana, sports betting online is illegal as it is one of the few states that has acted to specifically outlaw online gambling within its territory.

Online casino laws, and associated online sports betting laws were updated in Montana in 2005 and the phrase “internet gambling” in section 23-5-112 of the Montana Code specifically notes that it is illegal to run an online gambling operation within the Big Sky state.

Moreover, Montana is one of just a few states that prohibit online daily fantasy sports (DFS) betting. Section 23-5-802 of the Montana Code states that “it is unlawful to wager on a fantasy sports league by telephone or internet.”

As a result, horse racing betting is the only legal form of gambling online available in the state of Montana at the current time. State law specifically states that online horse racing betting is legal in Montana.

Online Fantasy Sports in Montana

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions are understood and interpreted by U.S. Federal Laws not to be games of chance, and conversely, considered to games of skill-and-knowledge.

Subsequently, at the Federal level of government, DFS competitions ARE NOT considered to be gambling. Each state has been empowered by Federal lawmakers to decide on the legality of DFS competitions.

As mentioned above, Montana is one of the few states to go against the grain of the Federal ruling and prohibit the usual form of DFS competition.

Montana has its own form of Fantasy Football and Fantasy NASCAR competitions that are administered by the state’s lottery. (Please see below for an explanation of the unique form of Fantasy Sports on offer in Montana).

As for the nationwide DFS games, the Montana State Legislature did make a failed attempt to pass Senate Bill 25 in late 2016 with the following compromises;

  •  The ‘buy in’ is no more than $35.
  •  The games are played for minimal, non-monetary prizes such as t-shirts.
  • They last for an entire season (In other words, no Daily fantasy contests)

That ‘watered-down’ attempt to pass Fantasy Sports failed in the Big Sky State and for the meantime, Montana operates its own unique Fantasy Sports competition run through the State Lottery.

Montana’s Weekly Fantasy Sports Football and NASCAR

Every day, tens-of-millions of DFS players nationwide in the United States choose real-life athletes to form a fantasy team and collect points based on the athlete’s real-life performances across all the major leagues (NHL, NBA, NFL, MLB, NCAA, MMA and even PGA Golf) to win huge million-dollar prizes.

The Montana Fantasy Sports Model is slightly-less-ambitious in its scope and number of sports on offer. Owned-and-operated by the Montana State Lottery, the only Fantasy Sports on offer in the state are NFL and NASCAR.

Fantasy Sports Players pay a small entry fee at their local lottery retailer (In Montana, Fantasy sports are not available online), and choose up to 5 NFL players or 5 NASCAR Drivers (identified by their car numbers) for their teams. After you build your team, you may choose an amount to wager – $5, $10, $20, $50, or $100. The amount you wager will then determine the number of shares of prize money you will receive if you win.

Just like the nationwide Fantasy Sports competitions, during the real-world events, your team in Montana Fantasy Football or NASCAR accumulates points based on the individual performances of the athletes and drivers across the weeks NFL games or NASCAR races.

At the end of the week’s fixtures or races, the team that has the most points wins their corresponding league for the week and prizes are awarded from the entry pool money.

Of course, with only a small pool of players in Montana paying entry fees, the amounts of prize money on offer is much less than the big national DFS competitions. On the other hand, with a smaller pool of players, if you have the skill, there is arguably more potential to win more often in the Montana State Lottery’s Fantasy Sports NFL and NASCAR competitions.

Esports Online Betting Laws

eSports, once sports betting becomes re-packaged legally in Montana, will provide a younger generation of tech savvy gamblers with a contemporary form of sports betting that is unsullied by an association at all with the days of illegal sports gambling in the state.

eSports’ – the world’s fastest growing form of sports betting

eSports (or otherwise known as ‘competitive gaming’) is the fastest growing genre of sports entertainment in the world today.

Professional gamers play video games against each other in front of an online audience of millions, and tens-of-thousands more watching the events live in packed purpose-built stadiums.

The sport has evolved from the one-time underground LAN gaming community to rise to become a mainstream sport. Players compete for glory in worldwide tournaments that are offering prize money in the millions. The exponential growth in the sport has by no coincidence has exploded with the developments live video streaming technology.

Betting interest in eSports seemingly increases each month across the world and international sportsbooks offer betting odds on all the big global eSports tournaments.

Fortnite, Overwatch, and Starcraft II are just some of the most popular games that the big-money pro teams compete in. Each week, there seems to be a new game like the recently released Rocket League with associated tournament program world and a plethora of sports bettors cashing in on the available betting platforms. Coming soon to a legalized sportsbook in Montana near you.

Horse Racing in Montana

Residents of, and visitors to the state of Montana have a great variety of legal options for on course and off-track betting locations and online horse racing betting sites. Horse Racing Betting in Montana is overseen by the Montana Department of Commerce and administered by the Montana Board of Horse Racing.

Trackside Betting

The state is home to three racetracks and races are usually held throughout the late summer months. In addition, various locations and numerous county fairs throughout the state offer one-off annual race meetings.

Off Track Betting (OTB) in Montana

Given the state’s small and sparse population, the State of Montana offers a surprisingly generous network of 8 OTB locations throughout the Big Sky State.

Online Horse Racing in Montana

All of the major online horse racing betting sites operating in the United States accept customers from the Big Sky State of Montana and offer real money betting action on the big U.S. races like the Kentucky Derby, Triple Crown, Arkansas Derby, etc. International horse racing betting worldwide on lucrative championship races are all available online for Montana residents and visitors.

Visit our Montana online gambling page for more information on the states gambling laws



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