Montana highly regulates the gaming and liquor industries through the Montana Department of Justice and the Department of Revenue. The tightly regulated liquor and gaming industries result in extensive oversight and review by the state to ensure proper compliance with the law. The rapid expansion of breweries and distilleries in Montana has increased oversight awareness. Our liquor and gambling licensing lawyers have over 35 combined years of experience working in the gambling and liquor regulatory arena.
Silverman Law Office, PLLC assists companies and individuals with gambling and liquor law matters at all levels. Whether you are a new start-up trying to purchase a license or an existing business trying to sell a license, we can help. If you need to reorganize your business within the regulatory laws of Montana or the Federal TTB, we also have experience in those areas.
An Overview of Montana Gambling and Liquor Laws
For many businesses, liquor and gambling licenses are a necessary part of their operations. Both industries are regulated by the State of Montana and you must comply with their rules and policies. If you need detailed information about Montana’s laws and how they apply to your business, consult with our gambling- and liquor-licensing attorneys.
Montana regulates almost all alcohol-related operations, including production, distribution, and the sale of alcohol and spirits. It is a “control state,” meaning that the state is the only permitted distilled spirits wholesaler in Montana. Commercial wholesalers can sell and distribute beer and non-fortified wine with a license.
Gambling has a long history in Montana. The state has regulated and taxed gambling operations since at least the 1980s. Today, there are over 1,400 licensed gambling operators in the state. Patrons can play a variety of live and video-based games at bars, restaurants, casinos, and other facilities. While most of us associate gambling with poker, blackjack, and roulette, the Montana Gambling Division also regulates bingo games, raffles, and certain fundraisers.
Obtaining Montana Gambling and Liquor Licenses
In 2018, Montana converted from a more traditional liquor license system that was lottery-based to competitive bidding. When a liquor license becomes available, you can apply and submit a bid. The highest bid wins the license and the minimum bid is 75% of its comparable market value. In addition to a bid, you must submit a $100 processing fee and an irrevocable letter of credit.
If you have questions about our state’s liquor license bidding system, a lawyer at Silverman Law Office, PLLC can help you identify available licenses, build a competitive and cost-effective bid, and help build a liquor law compliance strategy for your business.
In Montana, you must have a valid liquor license before you can receive a gambling license. However, because the rules and regulations surrounding liquor and gambling licenses are similar, the state does accept a Combined License Application (Form 5). While you submit a single application, either by mail or Montana’s online TAPS system, your requests will be evaluated separately. If you need help applying, transferring, or changing your license, we can help.
Our experienced liquor and gambling license attorneys can help you ensure that your venture complies with all of Montana’s requirements. This includes detailed disclosures about your business’ operations, investors, managers, and finances.
How Do I Get Temporary Gambling or Liquor Authority?
Under certain circumstances, you can receive temporary gambling or liquor authority. These licenses allow you to offer liquor and gambling on-premise while the state processes your application. However, they are only available if you are only transferring the ownership of an existing license. If you are moving to a new location or requesting a new liquor or gambling license, temporary gambling and liquor authority is not available.
Additionally, receiving temporary gambling or liquor authority does not guarantee that you will receive a full license. If your application does not meet Montana’s legal standards or you violate the state’s liquor or gambling laws while you have temporary authority, you will lose your license and might face legal enforcement actions.
Addressing Gambling and Liquor Violations
What do you do if you receive a liquor violation from the Montana Department of Revenue? Or if you receive a gambling violation from the Montana Department of Justice? With our unique experience of having prosecuted gambling and liquor violations on behalf of the state and successfully defending a multitude of private businesses that received liquor or gambling violations, we can help resolve any issue.
If you’re the subject of a gambling or liquor license enforcement action, contact Silverman Law Office immediately. A gambling and liquor license attorney will listen to your story and ask detailed questions. We can then help you build a defense strategy that addresses your long- and short-term needs.
Our Goal Is to Protect Our Clients’ Businesses and Foster Growth
We understand the importance of liquor and gambling licenses and commit ourselves to protecting our clients’ businesses. Our clients benefit from the following:
- Guidance from a gambling and liquor licensing attorney who has represented both the state and private businesses
- Practical advice about the licensing process and legal compliance
- Thorough defenses during an enforcement action
- Efficient and client-focused service that aims to maximize your time and money
If you’d like to learn more about our client-centered services as well as aggressive legal strategies, contact Silverman Law Office, PLLC today. We can schedule a no-risk consultation with a gambling and liquor licensing attorney at our office.
Schedule a Consultation With Our Gambling and Liquor Licensing Attorneys
Our liquor licensing lawyers have a broad knowledge of liquor and gambling licensing and can assist you in every aspect of your liquor and gambling matters in Montana. We work with alcohol distributors, bars, casinos, gambling route operators, liquor stores, and gaming machine manufacturers. Let Silverman Law Office, PLLC help you get your liquor or gambling business where it needs to be, as quickly and cost-effectively as possible.