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Online Poker in Montana? YES, Play Legally for Real Money in 2022!

Montana Online Poker

Can I play online poker in Montana? The answer is yes!

Is it legal to play online poker in Montana? The answer to this is also yes!


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Online poker in Montana played for real money is definitely possible and potentially profitable if you've taken the time to hone a winning strategy. There are no legal burdens placed on everyday residents who like to play privately on their personal computers. Montana online poker is safe, rewarding, and easy as long as you bother to select a reputable internet cardroom to call home.

Taking a virtual seat at the online tables isn't criminalized at the federal level either. The controversial UIGEA legislation was a thorn in the side of the poker-playing public for about five years, but a reinterpretation of the Wire Act by the Department of Justice in 2011 means that it doesn't apply to card games, just to sports-betting. In any event, the provisions of the UIGEA don't affect individual gamblers but rather the companies that organize online games and the financial institutions that process payments related to them.

There are plenty of live venues for poker throughout the Treasure State, but oddball restrictions on the size of the games allowed make poker in a Montana casino nothing more than an occasional diversion for any serious devotee of the game. On the internet, the variety of stakes available allows you to find the right level for your financial circumstances and preferences. When you take into account the fact that you don't need to travel or wait for a seat to open up, it becomes clear that the internet is superior to brick-and-mortar cardrooms for the majority of MT poker players.

What Online Poker Sites Can I Play in Montana?

No two online operators are identical, but all of the entries on our list of the best companies for online poker in Montana are reliable and dependable. You'll get to partake in fair, honest gameplay and the rapid payment of any real-money winnings you should amass. They all provide valuable bonuses and other promotions to enhance your profitability whether you're a novice or a professional.

1

IGNITION

BONUS:
150% up to $1,500
★★★★
4.7 / 5

BEST MT ONLINE POKER SITE FOR OVERALL TRAFFIC

NETWORK:
PAIWANGLUO
EXTRAS
CASINO
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

Ignition Poker caters to Montanans seeking the biggest online cardroom. There's plenty of traffic here for cash games, including NL Hold'em, PL Omaha, PL Omaha/8, and Limit Hold'em. Zone Poker, a fast-fold format, and lottery-inspired Jackpot Sit & Go are also pretty popular. The tournament section is robust too with a $150K Guarantee every week and a million-dollar event each month, not to mention the frequent MTT series, which sometimes pay out tens of millions of dollars in prizes.

For Windows and Mac users, Ignition has a download installer while iOS and Android devices can log in through a web-based interface. Newcomers get to claim a 150% up to $1,500 poker bonus with any Bitcoin deposit, and there's a similar bonus for the casino as well.

VISIT IGNITION POKER NOW
2

SB POKER

BONUS:
100% up to $1,000
★★★★
4.5 / 5

BEST MT ONLINE POKER SITE FOR BAD BEAT JACKPOT

NETWORK:
CHICO
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

SB Poker is one of the few remaining U.S.-facing online poker organizations that has Bad Beat Jackpots active in certain cash games (NL Hold'em and fast-fold Boost Poker to be specific). This means that a lucky string of cards could see you walk away tens or hundreds of thousands of dollars richer. Of course, there's a full complement of non-BBJ games too, including not just NLHE but also Omaha, 6+ Hold'em, SNGs, lottery-style Windfalls, and multi-table tournaments.

Sportsbetting.ag runs on Windows, Mac OS, iOS, and Android devices. Make your initial deposit today to redeem a 100% up to $1,000 poker room bonus.

VISIT SB POKER NOW
3

BETONLINE

BONUS:
100% up to $1,000
★★★★
4.4 / 5

BEST MT POKER SITE FOR MOBILE SOFTWARE

NETWORK:
CHICO
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

Of all the poker destinations that cater to mobile customers, BetOnline has perhaps the smoothest and most well-rounded mobile client, which supports both iOS and Android smart devices. The graphics are clear, the user interface intuitive, and the list of games comprehensive. BOL is a partner of SB Poker, and so the poker product is virtually identical and shares nearly all traffic between the two rooms.

While BetOnline possesses a superb mobile offering, you can of course play on a traditional computer (PC or Mac) if you wish. Upon making your first deposit, you'll receive a poker bonus of 100% up to $1,000.

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4

BOVADA

BONUS:
100% up to $500
★★★★
4.2 / 5

BEST MT ONLINE POKER SITE FOR MULTI-GAMING ACTION

NETWORK:
PAIWANGLUO
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

Bovada is Ignition's sister site, and both rooms therefore share poker tables and games. However, Bovada has a strong advantage going for it: You can play poker, enjoy casino games, and bet on sports whereas Ignition lacks a sportsbook. Actually, there's more than just traditional athletic competitions to bet on with eSports, politics, and entertainment events contained in the wagering menu. A racebook listing horse races at hundreds of tracks around the world completes the product portfolio.

Bovada Poker can be installed on PCs and Macs. Mobile users can use the web cardroom to play. Bovada's poker welcome bonus is a 100% up to $500 deal, and there's thousands more in bonus funds waiting in the sportsbook and casino.

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5

AMERICAS CARDROOM

BONUS:
100% up to $2,000
★★★★
4.1 / 5

BEST MT ONLINE POKER SITE FOR LARGE MTTs

NETWORK:
WINNING
EXTRAS
$10 FREE
MORE INFO
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Tourney fans appreciate the comprehensive MTT lobby at Americas Cardroom, which boasts a million-dollar event every Sunday along with VENOM $5M+ tournaments a couple of times per year and lucrative series every few months. Besides this, there's a cash game lobby consisting of NLHE, PLO, PLO/8, LO8, LHE, and Seven Card Stud as well as fast-fold Blitz poker, randomized Jackpot Poker, and standard SNGs.

The ACR client is optimized for PC and Mac. Mobile customers are relegated to a mobile interface that lacks many of the game types supported in the full desktop version. When you join with ACR bonus code PRB10FREE, you'll get $10 for free and then 100% up to $2,000 in bonus funds on your first deposit.

VISIT AMERICAS CARDROOM NOW
6

COIN POKER

BONUS:
NONE
★★★★
4.0 / 5

BEST MT ONLINE POKER SITE FOR CRYPTO LOVERS

NETWORK:
STANDALONE
EXTRAS
30% RAKEBACK
MORE INFO
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There are a few internet poker parlors that eschew fiat currency and conduct all their business in crypto-currencies, and of them all, CoinPoker is the largest. Tables are denominated in USDT Tether here, giving you the convenience of crypto combined with the price stability of more traditional currencies. There are a couple of weekly leaderboards for cash and tournaments to boost your crypto balance even more.

CoinPoker is compatible with Windows, Mac OS, Android, and iOS. No initial deposit bonus is offered, but you can claim up to 30% rakeback weekly.

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7

EVERYGAME

BONUS:
200% up to $1,000
★★★
3.8 / 5

BEST MT ONLINE POKER SITE FOR EXTRA VALUE

NETWORK:
HORIZON
EXTRAS
CASINOS, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
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Everygame's poker room has only a small amount of traffic in NL Hold'em, PL Omaha, and PL Omaha/8. Making up for its modest size, though, is this organization's penchant for delivering free money straight into the hands of its players. For starters, you'll receive 36% rakeback for life when you sign up through our links. Then, you can compete in a weekly rake race, redeposit for reload bonuses, obtain free cash payouts from the loyalty program, and join no-cost freerolls.

Everygame's poker client is designed for Windows PCs, but users of Macs and mobile devices can log in through the Instant Play interface on the web. Newcomers are entitled to a 200% up to $1,000 poker bonus and 25 free slot spins.

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8

SWCPOKER

BONUS:
NONE
★★★
3.6 / 5

BEST MT ONLINE SITE FOR # OF POKER VARIANTS

NETWORK:
STANDALONE
EXTRAS
FREEROLLS
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

SwCPoker conducts its cashier functions and gameplay in Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash. And that gameplay is quite varied indeed with all the usual formats you would expect, like NLHE and PLO, but also more obscure types of poker, such as HORSE, Open Face Chinese, 2 – 7 Triple Draw Lowball, and Razz to name a few. No rake micro-stakes tables and a variety of freerolls serve to throw some extra cash back into your wallet.

SwC runs on PC, Mac, iOS, and Android. Although this room lacks a first deposit bonus, it grants users up to 50% rakeback depending on their volume of play.

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9

NITROBETTING

BONUS:
100% up to 25 mBTC
★★★
3.3 / 5

BEST MT ONLINE POKER SITE FOR BITCOINERS

NETWORK:
STANDALONE
EXTRAS
CASINO, SPORTSBOOK
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

Unlike many crypto-focused rooms, Nitrogen has deployed Bitcoin and Bitcoin exclusively for its cashier and tables. There are no “altcoins” in use here, making for a streamlined user experience. Among the games on offer are No Limit Hold'em, Limit Hold'em, Crazy Hold'em, Six Plus Hold'em, and Pot Limit Omaha. Freerolls reward regular grinders every day and week.

Because it runs in your web browser, Nitrogen's software works with pretty much every type of computer hardware on the market today. When you deposit for the first time, you'll get a 100% up to 25mBTC bonus.

VISIT NITROBETTING NOW
10

BLOCKCHAIN.POKER

BONUS:
NONE
★★★★★
3.0 / 5

BEST MT ONLINE POKER SITE FOR MULTIPLE CRYPTO COINS

NETWORK:
STANDALONE
EXTRAS
FREE 50 CHIPS
MORE INFO
READ REVIEW

At Blockchain.Poker, you have separate balances in four distinct crypto-currencies, and there are dedicated tables for each of them. What's more, the room hands out a small number of free coins for each of these cryptos to new users. These coins are Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BSV), and eCash (XEC). There are cash games, SNGs, and tournaments that you can buy into with these coins.

Blockchain Poker is compatible with iOS, Android, Windows, and Mac machines. There's no welcome bonus here, but you can trade in poker points for crypto payouts.

VISIT BLOCKCHAIN.POKER NOW
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ALTERNATIVE POKER SITES

What to Consider When Selecting a Poker Site

No two poker players are alike, and similarly, no two online sites deliver the same experience. Based upon the stakes you play, the computing hardware you possess, and the varieties of poker that you most enjoy, you might choose a different room than someone else would. There's no predicting for certain which company would be best for you to sign up with, but we can give you some general advice.

◈ If you want to freedom to pick from the largest number of active games, then Ignition, Americas Cardroom, and Bovada may fit the bill.


◈ If you seek to maximize the size of your first deposit bonus, then Americas Cardroom and its $2,000 offer or Everygame's 200% bonus await you.


◈ If cash tables are your preferred style of game, then Ignition, Bovada, or ACR might be the most sensible option.


◈ If sit-and-gos are what you're looking for, then Americas Cardroom, SB Poker, Ignition, Bovada, and BetOnline will probably be well-suited to your tastes.


◈ If dreams of big tournament paydays keep you ever-hopeful, then Americas Cardroom, Ignition, and Bovada are the places where dreams can come true.


◈ If you think ongoing rakeback is best for your poker play, you may want to check out Everygame's 36% or CoinPoker's 30% offers.


◈ If you would prefer to remain anonymous while you play using crypto, then CoinPoker, SwCPoker, Nitrobetting, or Blockchain.Poker may best fit your needs.


◈ If you feel that you deserve to receive regular rewards on an ongoing basis, then Americas Cardroom, Everygame, and Nitrobetting will treat you right.


◈ If you relish fast-fold poker because you don't want to wait around for hands, then Ignition, Bovada, ACR, SB Poker, and BetOnline will all cater to your needs.


◈ If you're an avid mobile pokerist who plays often while away from home, then SB Poker, BOL, Ignition, and Bovada should satisfy your preferences.

Online Poker Deposits + Withdrawals

Bills and Coins

To add money to your account, you can use a credit card, and you can have your winnings sent to you by check. The various poker rooms in existence also support a number of alternate payment methods, like money transfers and debit card withdrawals, but the details of these options are different at each firm. Perhaps the best way to transfer your money back and forth is the digital, virtual currency Bitcoin. It's speedy, and each transaction carries only minuscule fees. All of the sites that we've discussed endorse the use of Bitcoin for both deposits and cashouts. If you'd like to learn more about this exciting cryptocurrency, then read our comprehensive guide to getting started with BTC.

Alternatives to Registering a Montana Poker Account

Montana and Adjacent States

Folks who are fortunate enough to have another address in a nearby state, whether it be a business address, summer home, second apartment, family home, etc. If this applies to you, then you may have additional online poker options available. Here is a list of the states that border Montana and Professional Rakeback's review on each of them: Idaho, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming. If none of these states is relevant to your situation and you instead are curious about some other state, then head over to our U.S. online poker for real money guide. There, you can browse over to any one of the 50 states that you're interested in.

If this page has helped you in exploring your options for internet poker, then please think about sharing it with your friends and family. Many of them are probably unaware of their legal poker options, so you'd be doing them a favor by spreading this knowledge to them!

Facts About Montana's Poker Industry

Poker and gambling in Montana is a wide topic with a lot of state-specific information that does not necessarily apply elsewhere. We have gathered below a lot of knowledge about this topic for you to peruse at your leisure.

Montana Online Poker Laws

Book of Laws

Some states have gambling laws that date from the mid-20th century or even earlier, but this is not the case with Montana. It has one of the few legal codes that specifically mentions internet gambling. It's a very lengthy set of laws that cover just about every situation you could think of in terms of wagering activities.

We've obtained our information from Title 23 “Parks, Recreation, Sports, and Gambling,” Chapter 5 “Gambling,” Part 1 “General Provisions, Proceedings, and Penalties.” Let's take a look at a couple of definitions from 23-5-112:

(13) (a) "Gambling" or "gambling activity" means 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.
(b) The term does not mean conducting or participating in a promotional game of chance and does not include amusement games regulated by Title 23, chapter 6, part 1.
(c) The term does not include social card games of bridge, cribbage, hearts, pinochle, pitch, rummy, solo, and whist played solely for prizes of minimal value, as defined by department rule.

Poker is assuredly “contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance,” so it's unmistakably considered gambling as far as the MT state code is concerned. In (c) above, we see that there's a carveout for social card games, but the fact that several other games are listed without mentioning poker at all probably means that it's not exempt from this definition of what constitutes gambling.

Moving on the online betting specifically, we encounter the following in the same section of the code:

(23) (a) "Internet gambling", by whatever name known, includes but is not limited to the conduct of any legal or illegal gambling enterprise through the use of communications technology that allows a person using money, paper checks, electronic checks, electronic transfers of money, credit cards, debit cards, or any other instrumentality to transmit to a computer information to assist in the placing of a bet or wager and corresponding information related to the display of the game, game outcomes, or other similar information.

Well, it's pretty rare that we say this about any group of politicians, but it appears that lawmakers in Montana have a pretty good understanding of what internet gambling is and especially the wide variety of payment methods that people use to engage in this hobby. Notice that we've only been talking about the meanings of “gambling” and “internet gambling.” None of the provisions of the law we've discussed so far touch upon what makes any betting activity legal or illegal.

Before we go any further, it's perhaps prudent to point out that all gaming that's authorized by law and overseen by the Gambling Control Division of the Montana Department of Justice is exempt from all of the restrictions we're talking about. When we speak of certain pursuits being contrary to MT gaming laws, we're only talking about those that are unsupervised by the proper authorities.

Now then, turning to the guidelines for determining what counts as illegal gambling, we find 23-5-151:

Gambling prohibited. Except as specifically authorized by statute, all forms of public gambling, lotteries, and gift enterprises are prohibited.

Well, that's that – unless specifically allowed by a statute, all gambling is prohibited. But wait a minute; let's look at the exact phrasing employed here. “…all forms of public gambling, lotteries, and gift enterprises are prohibited.” Well, when we refer back to the definitions contained in 23-5-112, we discover that the thorough drafters of these laws had the foresight to tell us exactly what these terms are referring to.

Public gambling is basically gambling taking place in a location that's open to members of the public or games for which people were solicited in public. “Lotteries” is used more or less in the commonsense way that you would expect. Gift enterprises are those schemes whereby people purchase goods or services and then receive the opportunity to gamble “for free” (but not really). Poker played online from an individual's house doesn't fall under these provisions, not even if we stretch the phrasing to the maximum and imagine the widest possible interpretation of the text.

The punishments for violating the MT prohibitions on gambling can include both misdemeanors and felonies, and the penalties become more severe for repeat offenders. But, like we've just said, the ones at risk of prosecution are those who actually run and manage the games. There are proscriptions also against promoting disallowed forms of gambling and operating an illegal gambling device. As long as you mind your own business, don't gamble publicly except at authorized facilities, and resist trying to sign your friends up for online poker, you personally are completely in the clear.

As an aside, the subject of Montana online poker laws is one that stirs up a lot of confusion and generates a lot of misinformation. While conducting research for this article, we here at Professional Rakeback encountered all kinds of false statements and erroneous claims on other websites. While the law is a tricky field, and so a certain amount of inaccuracy is to be expected when laypeople tackle this subject, the bogus advice flying around the internet with regard to MT gambling legislation is much worse than for most other states.

Some people even think that the act of playing poker on your computer transforms your system into an illegal gambling device and thereby makes you liable under 23-5-152 “Possession of illegal gambling device or conducting illegal gambling enterprise prohibited -- exceptions”! To dispel this idea, we need only go back to the definitions that are thoughtfully provided for our enlightenment where we see the following:

(19) "Illegal gambling device" means a gambling device not specifically authorized by statute or by the rules of the department. The term includes:
(a) a ticket or card, by whatever name known, containing concealed numbers or symbols that may match numbers or symbols designated in advance as prize winners, including a pull tab, punchboard, push card, tip board, pickle ticket, break-open, or jar game, except for one used under Title 23, chapter 7, under part 5 of this chapter, in a bingo game approved by the department under part 4 of this chapter, or in a promotional game of chance approved by the department; and
(b) an apparatus, implement, or device, by whatever name known, specifically designed to be used in conducting an illegal gambling enterprise [emphasis added], including a faro box, faro layout, roulette wheel, roulette table, craps table, or slot machine, except as provided in 23-5-153.

Unless you possess some kind of weird, hybrid computer/lottery ticket or a machine that was manufactured expressly for the purpose of aiding in an illegal gambling enterprise, your PC won't magically become such just by your using it to play cards.

The distinction between ordinary players and those who make their living from gambling enterprises makes plenty of sense when we review the reasons for the gambling laws in place. 23-5-110 explains the motivations behind the rules that have been created:

23-5-110. Public policy of state concerning gambling. (1) The legislature finds that for the purpose of ensuring the proper gambling environment in this state it is necessary and desirable to adopt a public policy regarding public gambling activities in Montana. The legislature therefore declares it is necessary to:
(a) create and maintain a uniform regulatory climate that assures players, owners, tourists, citizens, and others that the gambling industry in this state is fair and is not influenced by corrupt persons, organizations, or practices;
(b) protect legal public gambling activities from unscrupulous players and vendors and detrimental influences;
(c) protect the public from unscrupulous proprietors and operators of gambling establishments, games, and devices;
(d) protect the state and local governments from those who would conduct illegal gambling activities that deprive those governments of their tax revenues;
(e) protect the health, safety, and welfare of all citizens of this state, including those who do not gamble, by regulating gambling activities; and
(f) promote programs necessary to provide assistance to those who are adversely affected by legalized gambling, including compulsive gamblers and their families.

It's clear that the motivation behind these measures is to protect members of the public from shady operators, not to attempt to safeguard private citizens' moral virtue. In the improbable event that you are targeted by an illicit gambling ring, it's likely that state officials will view you as a victim of fraud and will deploy its enforcement mechanisms against the originators of the project rather than you, the unsuspecting player. All this is moot, however, when dealing with Montana online poker because you'd really have to go out of your way to find yourself subject to the edicts of the state's legal regime.

Brick-and-Mortar Poker Scene in Montana

Blue Moon Casino

Almost all forms of gambling are present in Montana, including tribal casinos, commercial card rooms, licensed sports betting, racetrack pari-mutuel betting, the Montana Lottery, electronic video gambling terminals, and charitable gaming. One odd omission is daily fantasy sports, which remains banned by law.

There are more than a dozen licensed cardrooms in Montana along with numerous businesses that are authorized to host poker games, but don't get your hopes up. The total number of permitted live card tables throughout the state is just 203 as of the third quarter of fiscal year 2017, so each venue only contains a handful of them. These 203 tables for live card games include both Texas Hold'em poker as well as other games, like bridge and hearts, so the actual number of tables devoted to poker is lower.

Making things worse is the limit of $800 on the total pot size. Establishments that wish to offer tournaments must pay a fee for either a small stakes tournament permit (maximum buyin of $80, only a single buyin per player allowed) or a large stakes tournament permit (maximum buyin of $1,875, including rebuys and reentries). These tourneys can't exceed the $800 limit on a single prize, restricting the field size particularly for large stakes tournaments. Needless to say, you won't find much action at any given location, and what games you do find taking place will be for small stakes.

Chances for Montana Online Regulated Poker

The picture for statewide, licensed internet poker in Montana is unclear. On the one hand, the population is just over a million, and there have been no moves to introduce the appropriate legislation in either the Senate or the House of Representatives. On the other side of the equation, Montana already permits many forms of regulated real-money gaming, and sports betting has been recently added to the menu. It's very likely that once more states experiment with legalized online poker, Montana will join the bandwagon probably with the assistance of interstate compacts to share player traffic. Until then, however, it's not reasonable to expect the state to make any moves in this direction by itself.

History of Gambling in Montana

Stickgame Set A Set of Stickgame Bones

Although parts of Montana were included in the Louisiana Purchase of 1803, the area was virtually ignored by the fledgling United States except for a few fur traders. The Native American tribes of the area conducted traditional betting pastimes, like wagering on horse races and participating in the Handgame, also known as the Stickgame, which is a type of guessing game.

In the 1850s and '60s, gold, silver, copper, and other valuable natural resources were discovered. The miners who headed over to seek their fortunes were hardly straightlaced clergymen, and they partook of the various gambling games available, including poker. Indeed, several anthropologists have suggested that the uncertainty and risk involved in staking mining claims and hoping to hit the mother lode predisposed these adventurers toward gambling games in general. Solid documentation is hard to find, but anecdotal reports suggest that it wasn't uncommon for people to bet horses, firearms, and plots of land on the outcomes of poker hands.

Montana became a territory in 1864 and a state in 1889. All the while, the size of the population grew, the residents became more affluent, and the prevalence of real-money gaming kept pace with the improved economic circumstances. So much money was changing hands on games of chance that many scams popped up. A slew of shady lottery frauds around this time contributed to the decision to ban all gambling within the state constitution.

Butte City in the 19th Century Butte City, Montana in 1887; the mining town grew from just 241 people in 1870 to 10,723 in 1890

Even after gambling was declared forbidden, the authorities mostly ignored it so long as bettors kept their doings small-scale and secret. The decriminalization of low-stakes card games in 1937 and slot machines in 1945 appeared to augur well for the eventual legitimization of other forms of gambling. However, the state Supreme Court decided that slots were against the law in 1950, and in the same year, voters defeated an initiative that would have added new forms of legalized cash gaming.

The '50s, '60s, and early '70s were a low point for gambling in the Big Sky Country especially while Robert Woodahl served as Attorney General from 1968 to 1976. Even before taking office, he boasted that he would clean up illegal gambling in the state. True to his word, he began making raids on illicit gaming parlors. Woodahl earned the sobriquet “Bingo Bob” because of his alleged fondness for breaking up church-basement bingo games, dispersing the disappointed congregations into the night. This image was more fiction than fact because he spent most of his time dealing with slots and card games rather than bingo, but Robert did state in an interview with the Billings Gazette that:

The worst of it was the bingo. Little old ladies in tenny runners deluged my office. They'd been playing it for years, and they didn't want it shut down. But it was illegal, and I had to stop it.

Perhaps MT citizens had had enough of this strict enforcement regimen by the '70s. They approved a new state constitution in 1972, which permitted any such forms of gambling as the legislature and people deemed acceptable. The next year, bingo, raffles, and card games were made legal. Over the following decades more and more forms of cash wagering became OK in the eyes of the authorities. Today, Montanans can enjoy:

  • Keno
  • Bingo
  • Video gambling machines
  • Montana casinos owned by tribal groups
  • Live poker
  • Montana Sports Action – a type of fantasy sports
  • Montana Lotto
  • Pari-mutuel racetrack betting
  • Charitable casino nights (bingo, keno, raffles, and certain card games, including poker)

The newest form of gambling to be legalized in the Big Sky Country is sports betting. In May 2019, Governor Steve Bullock signed H 725 into law. This bill gives the Montana Lottery the authority to accept bets on sports from kiosks located in dining establishments across the state.

Below is a timeline covering the important events in the history of Montana gambling:

Montana Gambling Timeline

Famous Poker Players From Montana

Shooting Star

Montana is a mostly rural and sparsely populated state, so it's no wonder that it hasn't really made a strong mark on the world of poker. Nevertheless, there have been a number of prominent players from Montana. Chief among them is David “Doc” Sands from Bozeman.

David Sands
David “Doc” Sands of Bozeman

David first achieved success in the online realm during the mid-2000s. His screennames “SexSeen” on PokerStars, “Doc Sands” on Full Tilt, and “dsands25” on UltimateBet recorded tournament earnings in excess of $3 million. Among his achievements were winning eight “Sunday Major” tournameys online.

Sands hit his first World Series of Poker cash in 2006, and as time passed, he began to notch up more and more impressive results in offline MTTs. His 30th place finish in the 2011 WSOP Main Event saw him take home a prize of $242,636. The 29th place finisher was his girlfriend, Erika Moutinho, whom he married in 2013.

Doc Sands has won more than $1 million in a live poker event twice in his career. In January 2013, he finished second in the $100,000 PokerStars Caribbean Adventure Super High Roller for $1,259,320. Then, David prevailed in the WPT Championship $100,000 Super High Roller event in Las Vegas for $1,023,750.

David Sands announced his retirement from poker in 2014. As with most such announcements, the retirement seems to have been partial at best; for David has booked more than $2.5 million in live MTT winnings since that time. Throughout his entire live poker career, David Sands has collected more than $8.4 million in tournament earnings.

Other notable poker personages with a connection to Montana include Annie Duke, who resided in Billings from 1992 to 2002, six-time WSOP bracelet winner Layne Flack who moved from Reno to Montana in 1995 although he split his time between Montana and Nevada from then until his death in July 2021, and pioneering casino executive Benny Binion who maintained a ranch in Jordan for many years.

Other Internet Gambling Options

If you like online gaming, then you might wish to expand your wagering beyond solely poker. There are a number of upstanding operators that are ready to provide you with casino games and sports betting excitement.

Online Casinos

Montana has quite a few “casino” locations, but they must adhere to very restrictive rules. There's a limit on how many slots machines can be hosted in a single place, and casino table games, like blackjack and roulette, are banned altogether. It's therefore understandable if you wish to play online and benefit from greater game selection and convenience.

We have looked into the reputable internet casinos available in Montana and have identified three of the best ones.

1. Cafe Casino - 350% up to $5,000 Exclusive Bitcoin Bonus
2. Wild Casino - 5 x Crypto Deposit Bonuses: up to $9,000 Free
3. Ignition Casino - BTC Bonus of 150% up to $1,500 on 1st Deposit

Other online casinos exist that provide a solid gaming experience to people in Montana and the rest of the United States, and you can read this page to find a most trusted online casino for US players.

Online Sportsbooks

Montana is one of the wave of states that has recently made sports betting legal inside its borders, but in order to engage in this pastime, you must be physically present at an authorized retailer. In addition, there's only one provider, which is operated by the Montana lottery. For those who want to bet online and be able to choose from a number of betting services, online sportsbooks are the only answer.

We have gone through the online sportsbooks that serve Montanans and have listed three of the most upstanding of them below.

1. Bovada Sports - 75% Bitcoin Bonus up to $750
2. Sportsbetting.ag - $1,000 up to $1,000 Match Bonus
3. Everygame Sports - 100% up to $250 (times three)

If you want to browse through a more extensive list of dependable online bookmakers, then you can check out this page of highly rated USA internet sportsbooks.

Conclusion

Montana online poker is the newest sensation to join the already existing types of gambling within the state. While there's nothing explicitly legalizing it, there's also absolutely nothing criminalizing it at the individual level for ordinary players. Online poker sites serve Montana just as faithfully as any other part of the U.S., so pick a good poker room, and begin your playing adventure today.

Frequently Asked Questions

Montana residents often have questions pertaining to online poker. In order to address them, we've created the FAQ section below..

Yes, playing online poker on your own computer at home is basically legal in Montana. The Treasure State is one of the few jurisdictions in the country to have a law specifically prohibiting internet gambling. However, this is defined as “the conduct of any…gambling enterprise through the use of communications technology,” which strongly implies that it is running the business that is against the law, not merely playing.

The other laws that criminalize gambling in Montana are never actually used to go after ordinary players. They are enforced only against people who run and manage illicit gambling firms. As a regular online poker player, you have nothing to fear from Montana law.

Federal law too is concerned only with the companies, websites, and banks involved in internet gaming for real money. The UIGEA and other similar statutes do not penalize players or bettors.

Yes, all of PokerStars' operations in Montana are legal. However, these operations are strictly limited to play money gaming only. You see, as part of the settlement PokerStars reached with the Department of Justice following the Black Friday indictments, the company agreed to exit the U.S. market for real money online gaming except in states where it has a license explicitly permitting it to do business.

As of July 2022, the list of such states is pretty small: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Until Montana joins this group of states by passing ipoker regulation legislation, you won't be able to play PokerStars games for actual cash money.

According to Global Poker management, the company's online poker service is perfectly legal. We feel that this isn't quite true, but this whole subject is too complex to get into here. For a further exploration of this topic, take a look at our Global Poker review.

Yes, Ignition is legally doing business in Montana. The federal government would probably say that it's breaking the law, but this refers solely to U.S. law. The laws in Hong Kong, where Ignition's parent organization is based, are different and do not prohibit Ignition from accepting customers from Montana. The World Trade Organization, of which the United States is a member has already ruled that any attempt to restrict foreign actors from access to the U.S. gaming market is against the trade rules that the United States has agreed to.

Yes, BetOnline is acting in accordance with Panamanian law when it trades in Montana. Panama is the country where BOL is headquartered, and it is not breaking the laws of this country by accepting customers from elsewhere in the world, including Montana.

Yes, Montana is on the list of states from which Bovada accepts new users. For a while, Bovada shuttered its poker room while still accepting sports bets and casino wagers. However, this changed in 2017, when Bovada, to much fanfare, reopened its poker division. It has been happily dealing cards to Montanans since that time.

You must be 18 or older to gamble in Montana. The only exception is for charitable raffles, which individuals can enter freely even if they're below the age of 18. Online, this same 18-or-older age restriction applies.

If you are not old enough, we advise you to avoid gaming on the internet for real money. When it's time to submit your documents for identity verification, your deception will likely be uncovered. Then your winnings will be subject to confiscation, and your account will probably be closed.

No, it would be foolish in the extreme to attempt to run an unlicensed gambling hall from within Montana. Though the statutes that criminalize gambling ignore private individuals who merely wish to place a few wagers or participate in card games, it's a different story with regard to the principals of an underground gambling business. They could face a variety of charges, some of which are felonies. Furthermore, breaking state law regarding gambling can, in some cases, trigger federal laws and attract the unwanted attention of the FBI.

There is a wide array of payment methods offered by offshore poker sites, ranging from credit cards and bank wires to checks and money transfer services. However, the best method for most players is Bitcoin, which is supported by every entity on our list of best Montana internet poker rooms.

Bitcoin has transformed the world of fintech, including online poker. It enables speedy, low-fee transactions and bypasses many of the cumbersome restrictions of the banking industry.

Of late, other cryptos, referred to as “altcoins,” have seen growing acceptance at online gaming sites, and some of them offer advantages over Bitcoin, such as even faster transaction processing and lower fees. Two of the most popular of these digital coins are Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash.

It's not exactly clear whether or not private poker games are against the law in Montana. There is an exemption to the anti-gambling laws for certain named social games, like cribbage and whist. However, poker is not named among them.

On the other hand, the law that criminalizes gambling prohibits “all forms of public gaming,” which means that private poker games taking place inside someone's house are not illegal.

Regardless of how the law theoretically treats home poker games, our exhaustive research has uncovered zero evidence of Montana home poker games being broken up by the authorities. You will almost certainly be OK if you invite a few friends over for a game of cards as long as you don't play in a public place and don't cause any disturbances that might attract the ire of busybody neighbors.

Additional Resources

Montana gambling is a multifaceted subject, but you can get a better grasp on it with the below links:

 


We strive to maintain this information and update it frequently with our research. However, we are not immune to making mistakes or omitting information that you, dear reader, may find of use. If you have any further questions not addressed in this guide or have noted any discrepancies or inaccuracies we urge you to contact us with your questions and concerns so that we may swiftly address them!