Whether you are from the United States or any other country, there are few people who would be surprised to find out that you do not know much about the state of Montana. Even people who reside in Montana may not be surprised to find out that you know very little about their state. Despite this, you will be happy to know that the state of Montana plays host to more than 100 casinos. The casinos in the state are, in truth, nothing like what you will find in other states where casino games are legal.
In fact, the way casinos in Montana exist today is a lot like they have always existed in the state. Ever since the 19th century, settlers, residents, and those simply passing through have played many casino games in Montana. It is a part of their long, storied history and that is something that very few people think will change anytime in the near future.
Gray Wolf Peak
Northern Winz II
When we talk about the type of casinos that exist in the state, there is no single type. The way in which Montana casino laws are organized means that the settings within which casinos exist can vary depending upon the part of the state which you are in.
When it comes down to it, of the more than 100 casinos in the state, almost none of them are the casino resorts you will find in places like Nevada. Instead, many of these casinos are very small establishments with just a few table games, a few slots, and maybe some video poker machines. The reason this is the case is due to the fact that not only does Montana have an incredibly small population when compared to other states, the population that does exist is spread across a large, expansive space. As such, there are not very many massive population centers, but rather a large quantity of smaller towns and villages. With that being said, almost all of these towns and villages have gambling options aplenty. Montana is a unique state in so many ways, and the way in which their casinos exist is no exception to that.
Montana Casino History
As was mentioned above, the history of casinos and gambling in general in Montana stretches further back than the constitution of Montana. By the time the area became an officially sanctioned state, there was already so much gambling happening across all areas of the state. The biggest money-earner and most popular form of gambling was by way of lotteries, of which there were hundreds. Of course, as it was in most of the rest of the country, the lotteries began taking a turn for the worse and ended up simply robbing people of their money.
Towards the end of the 19th century and in the early parts of the 20th century, Montana went the way of most other parts of the country and began outlawing most vices, including alcohol and gambling. While prohibition in other parts of the country lasted decades, Montana’s prohibition began collapsing in the early 1930s. By 1937, state lawmakers passed the Hickey Act, which once again made table casino games legal. As a provision of the act, whether or not casino table games would be legal is a decision that would be left up to individual counties. Though table games have been around since the 1930s, games like slots and video poker have been in a state of flux constantly. In the 1980s, the Video Poker Machine Act was passed and allowed for bars to host a specific number of video poker or video keno machines.
Something else worth noting about Montana casinos is the fact that, in 2005, an amendment to the state’s constitution made it outright illegal for citizens to partake in any form of online gambling. While most other US states see online gambling not listed as illegal but not strictly legal either, Montana has taken a firm stance and has outlawed the use of any and all online gambling. There is no real reason for anyone to believe that this is something that will change at any point in the near future.