Betting on horse racing is legal in Montana. The state’s law allows residents to bet on horses and dog racing at off-track wagering facilities in Great Falls, Billings, and Missoula, or via online advance-deposit wagering (ADW) services.
The big four horse racing betting sites – TVG.com, TwinSpires.com, NYRABets.com, and XpressBet.com – offer service to Montana residents, with several smaller operators.
You must be 18 or older to place online horse bets in Montana.
Montana Horse Race Betting Sites & Offers
|Racebooks||Welcome Offer for Montana||Other Promos|
|Nyra Bets||$200 deposit match||Odds boosters, daily offers|
|TVG||Get up to $200 back||Get a $25 Bonus for every friend you refer|
|TwinSpires||$200 sign-up offer||Free play daily & weekly options|
|Xpressbet||$100 sign-up bonus||XB Rewards loyalty program|
|123bet||$1230 new member bonus||Refer-a-Friend bonus: get $50|
|1/ST BET||$100 sign-up bonus||Rewards points every Tuesday and other weekly offers|
|AmWager||$300 deposit match||Daily cash rewards|
|DRF||Get a $200 bonus on the first deposit||Earn up to $50 every week|
|Hollywoodraces.com||$200 sign-up Bonus||WINsurance Offers: refund up to $20|
How to claim a horse racing bet promo in Montana?
Horse racing betting features for Montana
- Nyra Bets Montana Features:
- Free live video streaming (HD live and replay)
- Free handicapping tips
- Swap positions quickly for Exacta, Tri & Supers
- Weekly live money handicapping contests with cash prizes
- TVG Montana Features:
- TVG Expert Picks
- Free Past Performances Program
- Live streams from tracks around the US and beyond
- Money Back Special on select races
- TwinSpires Montana Features:
- First Race Freeplay: get $100 in Free Bets
- 15% boost on a winning Trifecta bet every Tuesday
- Exacta insurance: get a bet back of up to $10
- Live races and highlights of previous races
- Bet Back offers (receive a refund for your bet if the horse you bet on to win the race finishes in second or third)
- Daily Double bets
- Xpressbet Montana Features:
- Horse racing’s leading loyalty program (receive two XB Rewards Points for every dollar you wager)
- Cash prizes in regular handicapping contests
- Deposit by mail
- Bet the horse races over the phone
- AmWager Montana Features:
- Current and historical horse race results from a single screen
- Advanced wagering structuring tools. Dutching, ABC method, Rank betting.
- Fair Value Exacta Grid (allows you to quickly see exacta bets that have been over bet or under bet based on the win pool)
- DRF Montana Features:
- Unlimited DRF Classic and Formulator Past Performances
- Free Beyer Speed Figures
- Free DRF expert picks
- 1st/bet Montana Features:
- Up-to-date news about upcoming races
- Unlimited access to the BETMIX products: Toteboarding, Free Daily Race Analysis and “Race of the Day” Past Performance
- 123bet Montana Features:
- No fees Friday (deposit $10 or more on Fridays via credit card or Paynearme)
- Loyalty Reward Points
- Handicapping products from Equibase (available only on the web)
- Hollywood Races Montana Features:
- Free Expert Picks
- Loyalty program for top players.
Horse bet types available online
In Montana, you can place different types of horse wagers. The most popular online bets are
- Win (the horse you bet on must come first)
- Place (the horse must finish first or second)
- Show (the horse must come either first, second, or third)
- Win Place (places a win and a place bet in one bet)
- Win Show (places a win and a show bet in one bet)
- Win Place Show (aka “across the board”; combines Win, Place and Show into one bet)
- Exacta (you bet on horses to come first and second in that order)
- Quinella (the same as exacta, but horses can finish in any order for you to win the bet)
- Trifecta (three horses should finish first, second and third in that order)
- Superfecta (the same as trifecta but here you bet on four horses)
- Super High 5 (you have to choose the winner of five races in a row)
- Grand Slam (pick a horse to finish in the top three in three straight races, capped by the winner of the fourth race in the sequence)
- Parlays (combine multiple selections on the same ticket, even if the races aren’t in sequential order).
- Credit and Debit Cards
- ACH Bank Transfer / eCheck
- Wire Transfer
- Green Dot
- Check or Money Order
- By mail: Xpressbet and
- Bitcoin: AmWager via BitPay
Montana Horse Betting Overview
Montana is a big state with a centuries-long legacy of horse racing. But you’d never know that today given its tiny hoofprint on the state’s sporting landscape.
Racing in the state dates at least to the early 1700s when Indian horsemen would ride their mounts down straight tracks in match races. The tiny town of Racetrack in Powell County is named for one such raceway. Guides from the Nez Perce tribe who worked with the Lewis and Clark expedition to the West Coast also staged horse races for their employers’ entertainment at Traveler’s Rest in 1806.
The city of Helena took the lead in organized racing, staging a short meet to accompany the first territorial fair in 1868.
New tracks, which featured oval-shaped courses for the first time, soon followed.
Horse racing reached its pinnacle in 1983 in the state, which has no official nickname but is often referred to as “Big Sky Country,” with 15 racetracks, many of them at county fairs, a racing total of 143 days.
Montana Horse Racing Situation Today
That contrasts sharply with the scene in 2022 when the Miles City Bucking Horse Sale will conduct seven days of live racing in May followed by seven days of racing in July in Great Falls, before and during the Montana State Fair. Both meets feature thoroughbreds, quarter horses, and some mixed breeds.
Increased competition has played a role in the decline of racing’s fortunes. Montana now allows sports betting, poker, lotteries, and video gambling.
While Montana residents and visitors have fewer options to enjoy the sport live, almost all advance-deposit wagering (ADW) providers accept customers from the state, despite a 2005 law that expressly prohibited online gambling. They do so in the belief that the federal Interstate Horseracing Act of 1978 exempted the sport from any state regulation if the sport was otherwise legal.
Providers of online wagering accounts for horse races offer a variety of signup bonuses and rewards programs to attract new customers, so it pays to shop around before signing up for a service.
Fun fact about horse racing in Montana
Spokane, bred and owned by mining pioneer Noah Armstrong, is the only Montana-bred horse to ever win the Kentucky Derby. He did it in 1889, the same year Montana was admitted to the Union, and beat the heavily favored Proctor Knott, setting a new Kentucky Derby record for 1½ miles at 2:34.50.
Popular horse racing events to bet on in Montana
- Montana State Fair Races
- Mothers Day Races
- The Kentucky Derby
- Belmont Stakes
- Preakness Stakes
- Breeders’ Cup
- Travers Stakes
- Santa Anita Handicap
- Pacific Classic Stakes
- Haskell Invitational
- Dubai World Cup
- Melbourne Cup
- Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe
- Grand National
Horse Race Tracks in Montana
- Bucking Horse Sale Racing
- Montana State Fairgrounds
- Crow Fair
- Marias Fair (closed in 2010)
- Northwest Montana Fair (closed in 2010)
- Western Montana Fair (closed in 2010)
- Yellowstone Downs (closed in 2012)
Yes, Montana allows horse racing betting online and through mobile apps.
Yes, you can. 18 is the minimum gambling age in Montana for playing online and at any of the state’s racetracks.
Yes, OTB is legal in Montana. Residents of the state can enjoy the live satellite horse racing and on-site wagering, all year long.