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Montana Tribal Gaming

Montana has negotiated agreements with five of the state's seven tribes: the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, the Chippewa Cree Tribe, the Gros Ventre and Assiniboine Tribes, the Crow Tribe and the Northern Cheyenne Tribe. Terms of compacts vary from tribe to tribe. The number of Class III video gaming machines (VGMs) ranges from 100 to 400 with maximum payouts ranging from $2,500 to $5,000.

In March 2005, a proposal (HB132) that would have provided for legislative involvement in approving tribal gaming compacts was not passed by the legislature. The measure, had it passed, would have placed negotiating limitations on the governor in authorizing additional forms of gaming as provided by the state constitution.

In November 2006, the Confederated Tribes of Salish and Kootenai and the state were unable to come to an agreement on a new compact after their original compact lapsed. As a result, the tribe could not offer Class III VGMs, causing the closure of many of their gaming facilities. Since August 2007, the tribe has been operating two casinos, Kwa Taq Nuk and Gray Wolf Peak, with Class II machines.

In 2006, the Blackfeet Nation and Montana were not able to reach an agreement on a Class III gaming compact. Currently, the Blackfeet Nation operates the Glacier Peaks Casino, a Class II gaming facility.

In 2008, the Crow Nation Tribe and Montana negotiated a new tribal gaming compact that allowed the tribe to conduct pari-mutuel horse racing, operate up to 400 Class III VGMs, and conduct gambling operations anywhere within the Crow Reservation. The payout limit for Class III VGMs was set to $2,000 and the maximum bet limit to $5.

In December 2012, Montana and the Assiniboine and Sioux Nations of Fort Peck signed a new Class III gaming compact, which was approved by the U.S. Department of Interior on December 20, 2012. The new compact authorized the operation of up to 750 Class III machines at all facilities on the Fort Peck Reservation. The compact also allowed for up to 20% of those Class III machines to be classified as high-stakes machines, which can accept maximum wagers of $50 and make maximum payouts of $5,000. In contrast, regular-stakes machines can accept maximum wagers of $10 and make maximum payouts of $2,500.

On 4 February 2013, a new Class III Tribal-State Gaming Compact negotiated between Montana and the Chippewa Cree Nation became effective. The new compact provided for up to 750 Class III machines with maximum wagers of up to $10, maximum payouts of $3,000 for up to 500 machines, and maximum payouts of $5,000 for the remaining 250 machines.

Montana Tribal Gaming Properties

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