Montana Department of Justice
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Gambling Laws & Administrative Rules

Gambling Statutes and Rules PDF (as of August 19, 2014)

Gambling Laws

The Montana Legislature has authorized limited legal gambling in Montana. Poker, keno, bingo, and video line gambling machines are legal with a maximum $2 bet and $800 payout. Legal live games include: raffles, bingo, keno, panguingue, poker and shake-a-day. Sports pools, fantasy sports leagues and sports tab games are also legal. These are non-banking games in which players bet against and settle with each other rather than betting against and settling with the house.

The legal age for gambling in Montana is 18, with the exception of raffles conducted by churches, schools, charitable and nonprofit organizations. Children under 18 years old may participate in these.

Gambling Regulations

The Gambling Control Division has adopted administrative rules to carry out the Montana statutes governing the legal gambling activities it oversees. The rules are enacted under the Administrative Rules of Montana Title 23, Chapter 16, available online through the Secretary of State’s Office.

For proposed rules and recent notices of adoption, see the department’s Administrative Rules page.

Credit Gambling

Credit gambling is illegal in Montana. Under 23-5-157 MCA, gambling operators and their employees cannot extend credit to their customers to gamble.

Credit Cards

It is legal for gambling operators to accept debit cards in order to provide cash to customers. Credit cards may not be accepted for such purposes.

Gambling operators MAY NOT:

  • advance cash for gambling in any type of credit card transaction
  • refund cash for goods or services purchased with a credit card
  • overstate the value of food or beverages sold in a credit card transaction in order to return cash to the customer for the purpose of gambling
  • sell gift cards, gift certificates, vouchers, money orders, or other instruments or devices that may be redeemed for cash

It is legal for gambling operators to cash a check to provide cash for gambling.

Gambling operators MAY NOT:

  • hold a check with the understanding that the customer will buy it back if he or she wins
  • allow a customer to alter a check to increase the amount
  • accept a check if you know the check is likely to be bad
  • accept a check if your check cashing service indicates the check is risky