Gambling in Montana is a bit different than in most other US states. Instead of casinos, local bars and other places that serve liquor are where most of the action happens. That’s because these establishments can obtain cheap gambling licenses that allow them to offer a limited number of video gaming terminals and card games. Both residents and lawmakers in Montana seem pretty content with this arrangement, so there aren’t any serious efforts to change it.
The minimum gambling age in Montana is 18, and the state has signed gaming compacts with local Indian tribes. Plus, if you’re under 18, you can still participate in raffles put on by churches, schools, and charities.
If you’re wondering about internet gambling, Montana defines it as “conduct of any legal or illegal gambling enterprise through the use of communications technology.” This could include things like transmitting money, paper checks, electronic transfers, or using credit or debit cards to place bets or wagers. All of this falls under Montana Code sections 23-5-110 et seq. and 23-4-101 et seq.
List of Top Gambling Venues in Montana
|Northern Winz Casino Box Elder||11275 US-87, Box Elder, MT 59521||www.northernwinzcasino.com|
|The Warden’s Casino Billings||1414 4th Ave N, Billings, MT 59101||www.thewardenscasino.com|
|Gray Wolf Peak Casino, Missoula||20750 US-93, Missoula, MT 59808||https://graywolfpeakcasino.com/|
|Kwataqnuk Resort & Casino, Polston||49708 US-93, Polson, MT 59860||https://kwataqnuk.com/|
|Glacier Peaks Casino, Browning||46 Museum Lp, Browning, MT 59417||https://www.glacierpeakscasino.com/|
Reviews of the Top Montana Casinos
1. Glacier Peaks Casino
Glacier Peaks Casino is a popular casino located in Browning, Montana. The casino opened in 2010 and features a gaming floor with over 500 slot machines, video poker machines, and electronic table games. Some popular titles of the games include Buffalo Grand, Lightning Link, and Lock it Link.
In addition to the gaming options, Glacier Peaks Casino has a restaurant called The Peaks. The restaurant serves a variety of dishes including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and entrees such as salmon, steak, and pasta. The casino also has a bar where guests can enjoy drinks and watch sporting events on TV.
For those looking to stay overnight, Glacier Peaks Casino has a hotel with 70 rooms and suites. The rooms are decorated in a modern style and include amenities such as flat-screen TVs, mini-fridges, and coffee makers. The hotel also has a fitness center and a business center for guests to use.
Other amenities at Glacier Peaks Casino include a gift shop, a convenience store, and a gas station. The casino often hosts live entertainment and events such as concerts, comedy shows, and parties.
2. Gray Wolf Peak Casino
Missoula, Montana is home to the popular Gray Wolf Peak Casino, which opened its doors in 2016. The casino boasts a gaming floor with over 300 slot machines and video poker machines, featuring popular titles like Dancing Drums, Buffalo Gold, and Wheel of Fortune.
To complement the gaming experience, Gray Wolf Peak Casino offers the Peaks Grill, a restaurant serving a variety of dishes such as burgers, sandwiches, salads, and entrees like steak, seafood, and pasta. A sports bar is also available for guests to enjoy drinks and catch televised sporting events.
For guests seeking overnight accommodation, there are various hotels available in the vicinity of Gray Wolf Peak Casino.
3. Northern Winz Casino
Located in Box Elder, Montana, Northern Winz Casino is a well-known casino with more than 100 gaming machines. These include electronic table games, slot machines, and video poker machines that offer popular titles such as Wild Lepre’Coins, Fire Link, and Lightning Zap.
While there is no on-site hotel, several hotels are available nearby for guests looking to stay overnight. Additionally, the casino offers a restaurant with a menu that features a range of dishes including burgers, sandwiches, salads, and entrees like steak and seafood. A bar is also available for guests to relax, enjoy drinks, and watch televised sporting events.
Visitors to Northern Winz Casino can also shop at the gift store, convenience store, and gas station. The casino frequently hosts live entertainment, tournaments, and parties.
4. Lucky Lil’s Casino
Lucky Lil’s Casino is a chain of casinos located throughout Montana, with over 20 locations in the state. Each location offers a variety of gaming machines including slot machines, video poker machines, and keno games. The exact number and type of gaming machines can vary by location. Some popular titles of the games include Cash Wizard, Buffalo Gold, and Wild Fury.
Each Lucky Lil’s Casino location typically has a bar where guests can enjoy drinks and watch sporting events on TV. Some locations may also have attached restaurants that serve a variety of dishes.
Lucky Lil’s Casino locations do not have hotels on-site, but there are several hotels in the nearby area.
5. Magic Diamond Casino
Magic Diamond Casino is a chain of casinos located throughout Montana, with over 20 locations in the state. Each location offers a variety of gaming machines including slot machines, video poker machines, and keno games. The exact number and type of gaming machines can vary by location. Some popular titles of the games include Quick Hit Platinum, Lightning Link, and Buffalo Gold.
Each Magic Diamond Casino location typically has a bar where guests can enjoy drinks and watch sporting events on TV. Some locations may also have attached restaurants that serve a variety of dishes.
Magic Diamond Casino locations do not have hotels on-site, but there are several hotels in the nearby area for those looking to stay overnight.
Montana Gambling Revenues
Gambling remains a popular activity in the state, generating millions of dollars in revenue each year. In 2021, the total gambling revenue generated in Montana was $262.3 million.
A significant portion of Montana’s gambling revenue is allocated to the state’s general fund, which is used to support a variety of programs and services, including education, healthcare, and public safety. In the 2021 fiscal year, the general fund received $69.4 million from gambling revenue.
Another portion of Montana’s gambling revenue is distributed to local governments in the form of gambling taxes. These taxes help to support local services such as roads, parks, and emergency services. In 2021, local governments in Montana received a total of $21.6 million in gambling tax revenue.
In addition to the general fund and local governments, Montana’s gambling revenue is also used to support various programs and initiatives related to gambling addiction and treatment. In the 2021 fiscal year, $5.5 million of gambling revenue was allocated to the Gambling Addiction Prevention Program and the Gambling Treatment Program.
Indian Gaming Tribes in Montana
Montana is home to several Indian gaming tribes, including the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation, the Blackfeet Tribe, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation, and the Crow Tribe. These tribes operate casinos on their lands, offering a range of gaming options to visitors.
Indian gaming in Montana has a long history, with the first tribal casino opening in the state in 1988. Since then, Indian gaming has become a significant source of revenue for the tribes and the state. In 2021, Indian gaming revenue in Montana totaled $191.6 million.
Despite the financial benefits of Indian gaming, there have been disagreements and legal disputes between the tribes and the state over the years. Some of these disputes have centered around issues such as taxation, regulation, and the expansion of gaming operations.
Here is a list of Indian gaming tribes in Montana:
- Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation
- Blackfeet Tribe
- Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy’s Reservation
- Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Reservation
- Crow Tribe
- Fort Belknap Indian Community
- Northern Cheyenne Tribe
These tribes operate casinos and other gaming facilities on their lands, contributing to Montana’s overall gambling industry.
A History of Gambling in Montana
Gambling has a long and storied history in Montana, dating back to the state’s early days as a territory. In the late 1800s, miners and other settlers would gamble in saloons and other establishments, playing games such as poker, faro, and monte. By 1900, Montana had over 1,000 licensed gambling establishments, generating an estimated $5 million in annual revenue.
In the early 1900s, however, gambling began to come under scrutiny. Reformers argued that gambling was corrupting society and called for its prohibition. In 1909, Montana passed a law banning all forms of gambling, including slot machines and card games.
The ban on gambling lasted for over 60 years, until 1972 when the state legislature passed a new law allowing limited forms of gambling. Under the new law, charitable organizations could offer games of chance such as bingo and raffles. In 1973, Montana became the first state to legalize video poker, which quickly became popular in bars and taverns throughout the state.
In the decades that followed, Montana’s gambling industry continued to grow. In 1988, the first tribal casino opened in the state, operated by the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes. By the early 1990s, there were over 4,000 video poker machines in the state, generating millions of dollars in revenue each year.
In 1993, Montana passed a new law allowing “casino nights,” in which nonprofit organizations could offer a wider range of games, including blackjack and roulette. The law also created a state gaming commission to oversee the industry and ensure that games were fair and transparent.
Today, gambling remains a popular activity in Montana, with numerous casinos, bars, and taverns offering a range of gaming options. The state’s gambling industry generates millions of dollars in revenue each year, with Indian gaming alone accounting for nearly $200 million in annual revenue.
Despite its popularity, gambling in Montana has not been without controversy. Over the years, there have been disagreements and legal disputes between the state, tribal gaming operators, and other stakeholders. Some have called for stricter regulations and greater oversight of the industry, while others have argued for expanding gambling options to increase revenue.
Gambling Taxes in Montana
If you’re a gambler in Montana, it’s important to understand how gambling taxes work in the state. Montana taxes gambling revenue at a rate of 15%, with the revenue going to fund a variety of programs and services. This means that if you win money from gambling, you will be required to pay taxes on your winnings.
For example, if you win $1,000 from a slot machine or table game at a casino, you would owe $150 in taxes to the state. It’s important to note that you can only deduct gambling losses up to the amount of your winnings, so if you lose money overall, you won’t be able to use those losses to reduce your tax liability.
To pay your gambling taxes in Montana, you will need to file a tax return with the state’s Department of Revenue. The department provides detailed instructions on how to fill out the tax forms, and you can file online or by mail. The deadline to file your taxes in Montana is April 15th, just like federal income taxes.
If you fail to pay your gambling taxes on time, you may be subject to penalties and interest charges. Additionally, the state may take legal action to collect the taxes owed, which could result in wage garnishment or other financial consequences. It’s important to take your gambling tax obligations seriously and ensure that you file and pay on time.
In conclusion, understanding the gambling taxes in Montana is an important part of being a responsible gambler. If you win money from gambling, you will owe taxes to the state at a rate of 15%. You can pay your taxes by filing a tax return with the state’s Department of Revenue, and failure to pay on time could result in penalties and legal action. By following the rules and paying your taxes, you can enjoy your gambling activities with peace of mind.
Montana Gambling FAQ
How much can you win at Montana casinos before being taxed?
In Montana, any gambling winnings of $1,200 or more must be reported to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and are subject to federal income taxes. However, Montana does not have its own state income tax, so you will not owe state taxes on your gambling winnings.
How to ban yourself from casinos in Montana?
If you feel that you have a gambling problem and need to take a break from gambling, you can enroll in Montana’s self-exclusion program. This program allows you to voluntarily ban yourself from all Montana casinos for a specified period of time, usually one year or five years. You can enroll in the program by completing an application at a participating casino.
Who regulates gambling in Montana?
The Montana Department of Justice’s Gambling Control Division (GCD) regulates all forms of gambling in the state. The GCD issues licenses to gambling operators, conducts inspections, and enforces the state’s gambling laws and regulations.
What is the minimum gambling age in Montana?
The minimum gambling age in Montana is 18 years old for all forms of gambling, including casinos, sports betting, and lottery games.
What types of gambling are legal in Montana?
In Montana, the only forms of gambling that are legal are those offered by the state lottery, licensed casinos, and authorized sports betting operators. This includes video poker, keno, bingo, sports betting, and slot machines.
Can I deduct gambling losses on my taxes in Montana?
You can deduct gambling losses on your federal income taxes, up to the amount of your gambling winnings. However, Montana does not have its own state income tax, so you cannot deduct gambling losses on your Montana tax return.