Is Online Poker Legal in Montana?
Montana is one of only a few states which has updated their legislation surrounding gambling in the past few years, but even then they have decided to opt for an incredibly strict approach, even when we are dealing with the issue of social gambling! Let’s take a little look at the legislation
Firstly, the definition of gambling in Montana is pretty broad. There are two parts to it, the first is the definition and the second outlays what the perception of Montana is when it comes to gambling:
Section 23-5-112 (13)(a)
“Gambling” or “gambling activity” means risking any money, credit, deposit, check, property, or other thing of value for a gain that is contingent in whole or in part upon lot, chance, or the operation of a gambling device or gambling enterprise.
Gambling prohibited. Except as specifically authorized by statute, all forms of public gambling, lotteries, and gift enterprises are prohibited. 
In short, any gambling which is not regulated by the state is illegal. There are some pretty tough penalties on offer for those that engage in illegal gambling too, perhaps some of the harshest in all of the states! However, in recent years there have been very few arrests as a result of gambling, which could either mean that Montana is full of law-abiding citizens, or the authorities just aren’t too fussed about enforcing the gambling laws.
There is horse racing, tribal casinos and a lottery in Montana.
Casinos and Live Poker
There are only a few ways in which you are going to be able to play Live Poker legally within Montana. The first is to play the game within one of the many tribal casinos, the second is in a social gaming environment. In fact, Montana has been pretty nice here as they are one of only a few states which have made an attempt to allow social gambling under the law as there is an exemption in place:
Section 23-5-112 (13)(c)
The term does not include social card games played solely for prizes of minimal value, defined as class I gaming by 25 U.S.C. 2703. 
In addition to this, card games such as poker can also be offered in a ‘casino like’ environment for charitable gaming nights, which are of course strictly regulated.
Montana is one of only a few states which mentions online gambling within its legislation, and sadly it isn’t good news for people who want to play as it appears to be completely illegal here:
“Internet gambling”, by whatever name known, includes but is not limited to the conduct of any legal or illegal gambling enterprise through the use of communications technology that allows a person using money, paper checks, electronic checks, electronic transfers of money, credit cards, debit cards, or any other instrumentality to transmit to a computer information to assist in the placing of a bet or wager and corresponding information related to the display of the game, game outcomes, or other similar information. 
It is unlikely that regulated online gambling will be allowed any time soon, in fact, many people believe that this is a state that is ‘least likely’ to allow online gambling. After all, they have recently introduced legislation which stops it from being legal, and there seems to be absolutely no interest in bringing it into force. Basically, residents of Montana have no hope!