Introduction to Montana Slot Machine Casino Gambling
Montana slot machine casino gambling does not exist. At least, not exactly as slots. Up to 20 electronic video games are allowed in 1,400 bars and taverns, consisting of more than 16,000 video poker, video keno, and video bingo gaming machines. Montana gaming regulations require these video gaming machines to have a minimum payout percentage return of 80%.
Montana’s American Indian tribal casinos are allowed to offer Class II or Class III video gaming devices. There are no minimum payout percentage returns required for electronic gaming machines at Montana’s tribal casinos.
This post continues the weekly blog series “Slot Machine Casino Gambling, State-By-State“, a year-long online resource project dedicated to guiding slot machine gambling enthusiasts to success.
Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling*
The legal age for gambling is 18.
Montana state gaming regulations limit the number of electronic video games in its bars and taverns to 20 video poker, video keno, or video bingo machines. These machines are operated along with the state. They are not allowed to pay out cash, but instead provides a voucher for payout by a cashier.
Video gaming machines in bars and taverns are limited to a maximum bet of $2. The maximum payout is capped at $800. Montana gaming regulations require these machines to have a minimum payout percentage return of 80%.
Montana’s tribal casinos also only offer video gaming machines, including Class II or Class III video gaming devices. Any wins are result in a voucher, which again must be taken to a cashier for payout. There are no minimum payout percentage returns required by the state.
*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws apply to various forms of gambling. This information is not intended to provide legal advice.
Slot Machine Private Ownership
Slot machines may be privately owned in this state as long as they are at least 25 years old.
State Gaming Commission
The Gambling Control Division states on their website that legal gambling establishments exist in every county of the state. Further, that there are currently more than 1,400 gaming operators and locations that offer more than 16,000 video gaming machines to the public.
Also reporting to the Montana Department of Justice is the Gaming Advisory Council which, created in 1989, advises on public policy matters related to gaming, including:
- Amendments to the gambling statutes
- Additional or modified departmental rules
- Clarification of existing rules
- Operation of the Gambling Control Division
The Gaming Advisory Council meets twice a year, and submits a report to the Department of Justice that is a part of the Gambling Control Division’s Biennial Report prepared for the Montana state legislature.
As usual, Federal law preempts state law with regards to gaming on American Indian reservations. It requires states to negotiate gaming compacts to provide for gaming on tribal lands. Montana has Class III state-tribal compacts with five of the state’s seven reservations:
- Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation
- Class III gaming compact federally approved in 2012.
- Compact allows up to 750 Class III machines to be operated within the Reservation.
- Maximum wagers are $10 and maximum payouts are $2,500 for “regular stakes” machines.
- Up to 20% of the Class III machines on any premises may be “high stakes”.
- Maximum wagers are $50 and maximum payouts are $5,000 for “high stakes” machines.
- Blackfeet Tribe of the Blackfeet Indian Reservation
- Currently no compact.
- A prior short-term compact was terminated in 1997.
- Negotiations failed in 2006 for another compact.
- Currently, the Blackfeet Nation operates the Glacier Peaks Casino, which is a Class II gaming facility.
- Chippewa Cree Tribe of Rocky Boy’s Indian Reservation
- Crow Tribe of the Crow Indian Reservation
- Class III gaming compact federally approved in 1998.
- Eight amendments have so far extended the compact to 2029.
- The Tribe may currently offer 925 Class III video gambling machines
- Up to 1/3 of these machines may be categorized as “high stakes,” with wagers up to $50 per play, and prizes up to $5,000 per wager.
- The remaining 2/3 of these machines are categorized as “regular stakes,” with wagers up to $10 per play, and prizes up to $3,000 per wager.
- Gros Ventre and Assiniboine Tribes of the Fort Belknap Indian Reservation
- Northern Cheyenne Tribe of the Northern Cheyenne Indian Reservation
- Salish and Kootenai Tribes of the Flathead Indian Reservation
Montana has nine tribal casinos plus over 300 bar and tavern locations (see partial list) where video gaming devices are provided. Limited information is available online for the tribal casinos located in Montana:
- Apsaalooke Nights Casino in Crow Agency.
- Charging Horse Casino in Lame Deer.
- Fort Belknap Casino in Harlem.
- Glacier Peaks Casino in Browning.
- Gray Wolf Peak Casino in Missoula.
- Kwa Taq Nuk Casino Resort in E. Polson.
- Northern Winz Hotel & Casino in Box Elder.
- Northern Winz II in Box Elder.
- Silver Wolf Casino in Wolf Point.
Montana slot machine casino gambling does not exist. At least, not exactly as slots. Every county of the state offers video gaming machines, including 1,400 locations and 16,000 video poker, video keno, and video bingo gaming machines.
No more than 20 of these gaming machines are allowed at any one location. Montana gaming regulations require these video gaming machines to have a minimum payout percentage return of 80%.
Montana’s American Indian tribal casinos are operated by federally-recognized tribes and, through state-tribal gaming compacts, are allowed to offer Class II or Class III video gaming devices depending upon the terms of specific compacts.
There are no minimum payout percentage returns required for electronic gaming machines at Montana’s tribal casinos. These tribal casinos have a very limited online presence.
- “Montana Slot Machine Payout Statistics”, Steve Bourie’s American Casino Guide 2017 Ed., Casino Vacations Press, Inc., ©2017, ISBN: 978-1-883768-26-3.
- “Welcome”, Montana Gambling Control Division, Montana Department of Justice, Retrieved December 2, 2017.
- “Montana Gambling Laws”, Gambling-Law-US.com, Retrieved December 2, 2017.
- “Montana Casinos”, World Casino Directory, Retrieved December 2, 2017.
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