Montana Online Sports Betting Guide 2024

Are you hunting around for the best Montana online sports betting sites and retail kiosks? The Treasure State is aptly named – there’s lots of betting opportunities out here. However, narrowing down your options can be pretty tricky if you’re new to gambling.

In this guide, we’ll take you through the basics of Montana online sports betting – from the law to the best MT sportsbooks and useful strategies. With this information in mind, you’ll easily find a betting site or retail spot that suits your play style.

Enough of the intro – let’s dive into what you’ll learn from this guide and straight into Montana’s gambling laws.

🔑 Key Takeaways

  • Learn about Montana online sports betting laws, including what sports betting apps are legal in Montana.
  • Find out how to get started at the state’s main sportsbook.
  • Discover interesting facts about gambling in Montana.
  • Uncover some retail betting locations you can visit within the state.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal in Montana?

Yes, online sports betting is technically legal in Montana through a single regulated app – Sports Bet Montana. The app was introduced following the state’s agreement to legalize sports betting in 2019 completely.

It was legalized via the introduction of House Bill 725, which outlines the complete authorization of sports wagering at kiosks and through Sports Bet Montana.

That means, as well as being able to log in and place bets through the sole Montana sports betting app, MT bettors can bet on sports at authorized locations across the state. Interestingly, you can’t use the app at home to place bets! You can only use the app to bet at locations authorized by the state.

Montana is an interesting case, as it initially legalized most gambling, far ahead of other states in the United States. In fact, some US states still forbid online betting and gambling, period.

→ Take a look at our guide to US states with sports betting for details.

Here’s a quick timeline of Montana sports betting laws through history:

  • 1889: Gambling is made illegal in Montana.
  • 1933: The repeal of prohibition laws reopens gambling.
  • 1937: The Hickey Act authorizes table games with county authorization.
  • 1950: Slot games are made illegal in Montana.
  • 1973: Montana passes its landmark Card Game, Bingo, Raffles, and Sports Pool Act.
  • 1985: Legislature allows poker machines and keno machines into establishments.
  • 2005: Internet gambling is effectively banned in Montana.
  • 2019: Montana finally legalizes online and retail sports betting.

10 Quick Facts About Montana’s Sports Betting Laws

You know the basics about Montana’s gambling laws. Here are a few facts about the legislation I also think are worth knowing about:

  1. Montana’s sports betting law: Montana is covered by a single act. Passed in April 2019, Montana’s legislative amendment to sports betting laws is covered by House Bill 725, otherwise known as the Montana Sports Betting Legislation. Further betting legislation includes House Bill 475.
  2. Legal age: You must be at least 18 years old to bet on sports in Montana. This applies to all forms of sports betting, whether you are doing so through the state app or at a retail location or kiosk.
  3. State borders: Montana is bordered by three states with conservative attitudes toward betting. Montana shares state borders with the following territories and their views on betting:
    • Idaho (no sports betting allowed)
    • North Dakota (retail sports betting only)
    • South Dakota (retail sports betting only)
      The state also shares a border with Canada, where sports betting is generally legal. However, Montana is the most liberal about sports betting in its neighborhood.
  4. Retail bookmakers: Only a single online sportsbook is available through Sports Bet Montana, but there are various retail bookmakers that are registered for sports betting. Some of the most popular being:
    • Halftime Sports Bar & Casino
    • Diamond Jim’s Casino Rusell
    • Five Spot Bar Casino
  5. Taxes: Like many other states, any winnings are subject to taxation. In MT, the tax rate is 8.5% of your gross revenue from each licensed sportsbook, as stipulated by the SB 330 enrolled bill.
  6. You can only use Sports Bet Montana to bet in person: Sports Bet Montana won’t let you place wagers from your phone or PC at home. You need to use the app while at an authorized location. Bettors in Montana can only wager on sports online by creating an account through the app and logging in. There are no other Montana sports betting apps.
  7. Hundreds of authorized locations: Over 300 locations across the state, including bars and gaming centers, are licensed to welcome Sports Bet Montana players. However, Sports Bet Montana’s website states that those locations listed with licenses aren’t guaranteed to have equipment ready to go.
  8. Tribal casinos: It’s legal to play games at tribal casinos in Montana. The state has an agreement that allows native tribes in Montana to set up and run casinos on their land. It’s here where you’ll be able to legally play at casino tables.
  9. You can’t play at for-profit casinos online: Montana’s ongoing ban against online betting extends beyond sports betting to include online casinos. However, you can legally play table and slot games at social and sweepstakes casinos.
  10. Regulation: Instead of MT’s Gambling Control Division, the operation, and regulation of Montana’s sports betting are in the hands of The Montana Lottery, through their Sports Bet Montana app.

How to Bet on Sports in Montana?

Getting started with Sports Bet Montana is pretty straightforward. Here’s how I registered and started betting.

  1. Create an Account: I clicked the “Create an Account” button, and I was taken to a simple registration form, where I had to fill out an email address, and enter a username and a password. I then needed to provide my ID and social security numbers.
  2. Download the mobile app: I bet from an iPhone, so I headed to the App Store, searched for Sports Bet Montana, and downloaded the official app. I then opened up the app and logged in with my details above.
  3. Search for sports markets: To start betting, I had to go to my nearest Sports Bet Montana retail partner. Once there, I logged in and started looking through the sports available. This was effortless to do from the simple menu bar.
  4. Select and set a bet: I then chose an NFL market and tapped a point spread I thought would be worth a wager! Once I’d confirmed how much I wanted to wager, I added the bet to my slip. Before placing your bet, make sure you check the available Montana sportsbook promos.
    I can manage all my account options and make deposits from home, but when it comes to placing bets, I always need to head to a physical location.

Top Montana Sports Betting Sites and Apps

As you’ll know by now, there’s not actually any legal competition for online sports betting in Montana. Sports Bet Montana has a monopoly on both online and retail wagers in the state.

However, I promised you a breakdown of sportsbooks available in Montana – so here’s what I have to say about the only option available!

Sports Bet Montana

Despite being the only sportsbook option for Montana bettors at the time of writing, the SBM app is quite well-designed. It has a sharp, clean design, and the menus are all easy to access.

When I registered for an account and used the app at a retail stop, there wasn’t a valid welcome bonus active. That doesn’t mean the app doesn’t offer bonuses! In the past, I’ve seen SBM offer parlay bet boosts, where you can get a bit of credit back from multi-choice betting slips.

So, keep your eyes peeled for a Montana sports betting free code or two to be released in the near future. There are also many helpful guides and walkthroughs available, so I’ve never been lost as to what to do or where to go.

Popular Sports and Teams in the Montana Betting Scene

Unfortunately, no professional sports teams play in Montana, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a college sports scene!

In fact, Montana has opted to continue college prop betting despite some opposition. That means anyone looking to bet on local sports cross-state will need to look to the amateur circuit. Thankfully, there are plenty of up-and-coming college teams and stars worth watching out for and potentially betting on.

NCAA Divisions

Two of the most prominent colleges in the state are the Montana Grizzlies and the Montana State Bobcats. Both Grizzlies and Bobcats play men’s and women’s basketball, while the Grizzlies alone play softball and men’s soccer. You’ll find both colleges playing in the Big Sky Conference.

The MSU Billings Yellowjackets, meanwhile, cover pretty much all college sports bases. Playing sports in the Great Northwest Conference, this school’s athletes participate in men’s and women’s basketball and soccer, alongside baseball and softball.

NAIA Divisions

In the NAIA Divisions, there are many more schools that put athletes forward to represent Montana. 

College sports bettors are likely to drift toward the likes of the Western Bulldogs and the MSU Northern Lights for football and men’s and women’s basketball. For softball and both men’s and women’s soccer, the Carroll Fighting Saints and the Providence Argonauts are the two most prominent schools.

These are just the major athletics programs in Montana. It’s likely you will come across more as you explore the state’s sportsbook app.

Neighboring States

Meanwhile, check out sports teams from neighboring states:

For instance, the Bismarck Bucks play professionally in the Indoor Football League (IFL) in North Dakota. 

Idaho, has a few minor league teams that, despite the state’s anti-betting stance, prove popular with many Montana bettors. For instance, the Boise Hawks play in MiLB’s Pioneer League, and the Idaho Steelheads play ice hockey as part of the ECHL. Again, like Montana, there’s also a strong college athletics scene here too.

I’ve bet on sports in a few different states over the years, and while Montana is one of the sparser areas for big-name teams, there’s still a lot of excitement at the college level. If anything, watching and betting on college sports gives us a good insight into the big potential stars of the future.

The Impact of Local Teams on Sports Betting

Montana’s betting scene is likely to be partly boosted by college sports interests, though there are no clear statistics to indicate by how much. However, news outlets report that betting interest in Montana has grown significantly in the past few years.

According to American Gaming Association statistics, there was a 12% growth in sports betting in the state between 2021 and 2022. This meant the state pulled in approximately $7.2m, resulting in $2.7m in profit for the Montana Lottery.

The AGA’s report also attributes much of the growth and profit to the ongoing expansion of the Sports Bet Montana app, which has the betting monopoly in the state.

It’s also reported that retail betting kiosk numbers grew by around 50 in 2022. It remains to be seen whether this upward trend will continue for Montana sports betting in the years ahead.

Upcoming Events

Are you looking for local sports and betting events in Montana? Below, we have compiled a list of upcoming games and matches worth watching. These are subject to change over time, so bookmark our site and come back regularly.

Are There More Gambling Options in Montana?

Although Montana outlaws online gambling in all forms at present, there are still a few different ways you can gamble in-state:

  • Brick-and-mortar casino gambling: It’s legal to play table and card games at various brick-and-mortar casinos across Montana at sites owned by local tribes. 
  • Social and sweepstakes casinos: The only legal way to play online card games, table games, and slots from home is to join a sweepstakes or social casino. These sites use their currency and don’t require a deposit. However, there are still prizes.
  • Montana Lottery: The Montana Lottery regulates a series of lotto and luck-based games, both online and offline. It’s completely legal for you to take part in these events.
  • Bingo: Bingo has been legal in Montana for decades! Sadly, that’s not the case online, but there are plenty of legal bingo halls you can visit within the state.

Maximizing Your Bets

Betting on sports in Montana requires a particular type of mindset. Plus, you need to make sure you’re always accounting for taxes! Check our top tips below, or visit our dedicated page to learn more about how to become better at sports betting.

Tips and Strategies for Montana Bettors

  1. Manage your bankroll carefully: Spending blindly on sports betting could result in disaster. Always set clear limits and, where possible, even set up a separate account or card just for your betting activities.
    Sports Bet Montana offers a responsible gambling service where you can limit how much you bet and even exclude yourself from the app.
  2. Develop a betting mindset: A good betting mindset considers facts and figures, not emotions and gut instincts. Try to look carefully into the sports and teams you want to bet on. Have a favorite sport or team? Immerse yourself in that world and keep track of their form.
    Doing so helps you to make more reasoned, informed betting decisions. You’re never guaranteed to win on any kind of sports bet, but you’ll be in a stronger position with data behind you.
  3. Try different sports: There are numerous sports betting markets available through Sports Bet Montana. If you’re an NFL fan, try to mix up football bets with athletics, tennis, or even NHL.
    This helps to keep your betting varied and interesting, so there’s less of a risk that you’ll get bogged down and chase losses.

Understanding Taxes and Payouts

The state takes a cut of 8.5% of all sportsbook operators’ adjusted gross receipts from betting. Generally, the tax applied to gambling winnings in-state involves the revenue minus management fees.

When filing your yearly tax returns with the IRS, you must report any winnings you make from Montana sports betting as part of your income. It’s treated at the same level as your income tax due. 

In fact, sportsbooks in the US are required by law to inform the IRS about any winnings of over $600. However, keeping your receipts and reporting anything you win in full is good legal practice.

You’ll normally need to fill out a specific type of form to report your betting income, which is typically a Form W2-G. Make sure to speak with a tax advisor if you’re unsure of what to file, and to what extent.

→ Our guide to sports betting taxes by state provides further information.

What About Physical Sports Betting Locations?

As mentioned above, Sports Bet Montana is authorized to operate in many retail locations. However, not all locations listed on SBM’s website are guaranteed to have equipment set up.

The following Montana sports betting locations are authorized to run SBM betting and are set up and ready to go!

Five Spot Bar Casino

This SBM-authorized gaming center is based on North Woodard Avenue in Absarokee and is well known for its betting scene and cocktail menu.

Facebook page:

Five Spot Bar is worth the stop when passing through and the staff is awesome!

Jim E., Google

Diamond Jim’s Casino Russell

This Montana Lottery partner in Missoula offers gambling, SBM access, and on-site rewards. It’s very popular with locals and scored a four-star rating out of five on Google.


Awesome, and friendly service. Best games. Great music, and a nice place to unwind after work.

Daniel M., Google

Halftime Sports Bar & Casino

This sports bar is located in Great Falls and serves a selection of lovely food and cocktails alongside large sports screens and casino options. It has proven popular, with one visitor leaving a very positive review:


Best casino sports bar in town by far…

Paxton Tutor, Google

So, Will You Bet from Montana Tonight?

You should now be pretty knowledgeable on where to bet on sports in Montana, and how to get started with the state’s sole sportsbook. Why not register and look around Sports Bet Montana before heading to a regulated location?

We hope you’re feeling a little more confident about betting in Montana. If you need a little more advice on how to get into betting safely, no matter where you are in the US, be sure to explore the other guides on our site.

If you decide to check out the guides we offer, make our Betting 101 guide your first stop. It’s a great introduction to how sports betting works.