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December 26, 2011
When it comes to gambling, the state of Montana is seen to be leveling the playing field. Starting January 1, 2012, line games, for the first time, will be legal off of Montana’s reservations.
Bill Miller, Century Gaming’s Missoula Rout Manager, said, “These line games kinda bring the Las Vegas excitement type of atmosphere to our small-town casinos. They haven’t been offered that up here, so a lot of our customers they travel to Nevada. They’re familiar with these games. I think this will take off relatively quickly.”
Senate Bill 361 has passed in both the state House and the Senate with flying colors. There was no opposition during the testimony, paving the way for the legalization of line games in the coming New Year.
MT Sen. Dave Wanzenried, a Democrat representing the 49th district of Montana and parts of the city of Missoula and Missoula County, said that the legislators looked at line gaming’s legalization as an opportunity to help out an industry which have been hard-hit by the recession.
Sen. Wanzenried, said, “It was one way of providing a small measure of support for an industry that is pretty important in some of our small, rural communities, especially to attract more business than they might’ve otherwise had without really exposing the community to any kind of downside risk.”
At present, machines in Montana allow only poker and keno. A software upgrade will make line games available as a third option to existing machines. According to the Montana department of justice, the state has almost 16,000 video gambling machines, 6,000 of which have the capability to add line games.