(Population of 1.024 million as of 2014)
In 2005, Montana took a stance on Internet gaming by passing a law against it. They didn’t criminalize playing poker online – which is why residents could still play on PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, etc. before Black Friday – but they did make it so no outlets could set up shop within its borders.
According to Montana’s Penal Code, iGaming “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.”
While “Big Sky Country” wasn’t open to the idea of iGaming nearly a decade ago, there’s always the chance it could reconsider. Montana allows for fantasy sports, and the state is actually lax when it comes to live poker, allowing it in both cardrooms and home games. However, cash games in cardrooms are not allowed to have pots that exceed $800 unless they're in a Native American casino. That law does not apply to private games, which may not be run for profit.
At the very least, the lessening support for RAWA in 2015 was good news because some of the names, including Montana Attorney General Tim Fox’s name, were absent. He had signed a letter in 2014 to pass RAWA.
Montana currently prohibits fantasy sports contests, but in February 2017, Senate Bill 25 showed signs of a possible passing, whether people could recognize it as daily fantasy sports at all: maximum buy-ins of $35 and prizes of “minimal non-monetary value.”
But these small things keep Montana in the same place it’s been: nowhere close to legislating online poker.