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Liquor Lottery Contact Information


If you have questions regarding the Liquor Lottery process, eligibility or application status, please contact: 406-444-6900


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Liquor Lottery FAQs


Q. What is a liquor license lottery?

A. A liquor license lottery is a lottery drawing to determine a successful applicant for either a new city beer license, “floater” all-beverages license, new all-beverages, or new restaurant beer and wine license. ARM 42.12.404

Q. When does the department conduct liquor license lotteries?

A. The department receives census information from the Bureau of the Census, United States Department of Commerce in July of each year and that is what determines if there will be any licenses available throughout the state. The department also conducts lotteries in the case of a license becoming available due to lapse therefore causing a license to become a “last available” license. ARM 42.12.412

Q. What is the process for a liquor license lottery?

A. When an available license within a quota area is determined and public notice of the availability is required, a notice will be promptly published once a week for four consecutive weeks in the newspaper of general circulation in the quota area. There will be a deadline of 10 days from the last publication date to apply for an available license. Lotteries will be conducted only for those areas that have more lottery applicants than available licenses. ARM 42.12.414

Q. How do I apply for the lottery?

A. The applications for lottery can be acquired through the department or on the department website. ARM 42.12.406

Q. What does an irrevocable letter of credIt need to say for a Montana All-Alcoholic Beverages Floater Lottery License?

A. All lottery applications for a Montana All-Alcoholic Beverages Floater License must include an irrevocable letter of credit. The irrevocable letter of credit must confirm the bank has approved the lottery applicant for a $100,000 line of credit for the purchase of an All-Alcoholic Beverages Lottery liquor license should they be the successful lottery winner. The Bank guarantees that it will not withdraw this line of credit or cancel this letter. 16-4-204 MCA and ARM 42.12.401

Q. Can I be placed on a waiting list for the lottery?

 A. No. ARM 42.12.414

Q. Can I apply both as an individual and as a business entity for the same lottery license?

A. Yes. Only one lottery application per person per lottery license will be accepted. “Person” as defined in ARM 42.12.401 means any individual, firm, partnership, limited liability company, corporation or association. This means if you are a member, partner or shareholder of a business entity you may apply as the business entity and also as a sole proprietor. ARM 42.12.401

Please Note: An applicant may only apply for one “floater” all beverages lottery license in a 12-month period.

Q. What is a “Floater” License?

A. A “floater” license is an All-Alcoholic Beverage license that may be transferred to a new location outside the quota area for which it was originally issued. This type of license cannot be mortgaged, pledged as security or transfer ownership for a period of 5 years after the transfer. A “floater” license issued as a result of a lottery is always gaming restricted. 16-4-204 MCA

Q. If I am a successful lottery applicant, how do I apply for the actual license?

A. If you are a successful applicant, you will have 30 days (60 days for a “floater” license) to submit a completed application to the department. An additional 30 days (60 days for a “floater” license) may be granted to an applicant upon the department receiving and approving a written request by the applicant that explains the need for additional time. ARM 42.12.406

 Q. If I win the lottery, is there any cost associated with the application process?

A. Yes, for all lottery license applications you would be required to pay the process fee of $400.00 and fingerprint fees of $27.25 for each owner of 10% or more. ARM 42.12.111

If you are a winner of a Montana All-Alcoholic Beverages “Floater” Lottery License, you would have to purchase a license from a quota area (see “float out” licenses in quota sheet) that would allow for the “float out” of that quota area. ARM 42.12.144

If you are a winner of Montana Retail On-Premises Consumption Beer Lottery License, along with the process fee, you shall pay a $25,000 original license fee. 16-4-105 MCA

If you are a winner of the Montana Retail On-Premises Consumption Restaurant Beer and Wine Lottery License, you would be required to pay a one-time seating fee (20% at the time of application with the remaining amount due before approval). 

Seating for:

60 persons or less is $5,000

61-100 is $10,000

101 or more is $20,000 (The seating for 101 or more needs to have pre-approval from the Department.) 16-4-420 MCA

Q. If I am a successful lottery applicant as a sole proprietor, may I apply for the actual license as a corporation?

A. No, the application for licensing must be identical to the lottery application. Failure to produce identical information on both documents will cause disqualification of the applicant. 16-4-420 MCA and ARM 42.12.401

Q. If I am successful, can I just hold onto the license until I am able to sell it or operate?

A. No, if a successful lottery applicant does not begin operation of the license within 1 year of notification by the department of license eligibility, the applicant shall forfeit the license. 16-4-204 MCA, 16-4-105 MCA and 16-4-420 MCA

Q. How soon can I sell my “floater” all-beverage or City Beer lottery license once I am approved?

A. If you are a successful applicant and are approved to operate a “floater” all-beverages license or City Beer license, you may not transfer ownership for a period of five years. 16-4-105 MCA and 16-4-204 MCA

Q. If I am a successful applicant, may I apply for a gambling license?

A. Only the last available and newly issued due to census all-alcoholic beverages licenses will be eligible for a gambling license. All other licenses will not be eligible, including any newly issued city beer licenses, restaurant beer and wine licenses and floater all-alcoholic beverages licenses. 16-4-105 MCA and 16-4-201 MCA

Q. What is the deadline for applying for the lottery licenses?

A. The deadline is 10 days from the last legal notice publication in the newspaper (If day 10 falls on a weekend, the due date moves to the next business day). ARM 42.12.406

Q. What if I am the second person drawn for a lottery license?

A. If the lottery winner withdraws the application or doesn't wish to apply, the eligibility goes to the next-ranked winner. We'll notify the next-ranked winner by mail. ARM 42.12.414

Q.  If I am the successful City Beer lottery applicant, can I concession the license into a business?

A.  No, you would not be eligible to concession the license in the first five years. 16-4-105 MCA

 


 
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Resources


For your convenience, we have listed below the specific statutes and rules regarding the Liquor Lottery and its administration. To request a copy of Title 16, Montana Code Annotated or its Administrative Rules, Chapters 42.11-42.13, please call us 406-444-6900 or to view an electronic copy, click on the links: Laws and Rules

Laws

16-4-105, MCA The number of beer licenses that the department will issue in each city and county quota area based on population.

16-4-201, MCA The number of all-beverages licenses that the department will issue in each city and county quota area based on population.

 

16-4-204, MCA When an all-beverages license may be floated out of a particular area and criteria for an applicant applying for a license awarded on a lottery basis.

16-4-207, MCA When and how notification is to be made to the public regarding transfers, issuance and availability of licenses.

16-4-420, MCA Criteria for an applicant when applying for a restaurant beer and wine license and the number of restaurant beer and wine licenses that the department will issue based on the population.

16-4-502, MCA How the population is to be determined.

Rules

ARM 42.12.101 Criteria for an application for a license to sell, manufacture or distribute alcoholic beverages.

ARM 42.12.104 Action to be taken by the department upon receipt of the most recent census or most recent population estimates.

ARM 42.12.131 Procedure the department will follow after the initial lottery application deadline for the available license in a quota area.

ARM 42.12.144 Procedure the department will follow for transfers between quota areas ("floater"), both as a result of a lottery and when no lottery drawing is required, applicant deadlines and documentation required.

ARM 42.12.401 Definition of terms that apply to all lottery processes.

ARM 42.12.404 Limit on lottery applications per person.

ARM 42.12.406 Lottery application process.

ARM 42.12.408 Final application process for successful lottery applicant.

ARM 42.12.414 How lottery applicants will be chosen by the department.


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Lottery Results


The lottery results for the Wednesday, September 27, 2017 drawing are listed below:


Bozeman/Belgrade All-Beverages Floater Licenses (2):

Peter J Sclafani, III

Burgard 25, LLC


Bozeman/Belgrade City Beer License:

FMK, Inc.


Bozeman/Belgrade Restaurant Beer and Wine License:

Cosmic Pizza, Inc.


Missoula City Beer License:

Douglas H. Day


Missoula Restaurant Beer and Wine License:

Rattlesnake Market and Café, LLC


Broadwater County New All-Beverages License:

Scott V. Johnson


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Future Lotteries

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The following licenses are available for lottery:

 

  All applications are due no later than 5:00 pm on Monday, October 23, 2017.
We will not accept late, unsigned or incomplete applications.

The lottery drawing for the below listed license will be held on Tuesday, Novemeber 21, 2017 at 10:00 am.
 

City of Culbertson, One (1) Beer License. Click here for application.


The public may attend the Lottery drawing. Applicants do not need to be present to be chosen in the Lottery.
Lottery results will be posted on this website.

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If you have questions regarding the lottery process we would be happy to assist. Please contact our offices at (406)444-6900.


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About


The liquor lottery is a process used to determine a successful applicant for a new city beer license, “floater” all- alcoholic beverages license, new all-alcoholic beverages license, new restaurant beer and wine license or last available license by drawing secured envelopes out of a manually operated raffle ticket cage.

The department receives census information from the Bureau of the Census, United States Department of Commerce in July of each year. Based on the population from the census and number of licenses available by law in each city and county quota area, the department determines if there will be any licenses available throughout the state.
 



The department also conducts lotteries in the case of a license being lapsed or going out of business, if it creates a last available license. Last Available means that as a result of a licensee relinquishing their license, a new license has become available in a particular quota area where, prior to, there were no licenses available in that area.

The Process

When a new or "floater" license is determined to be available within a quota area and public notice is required, the availability is promptly published once a week for four consecutive weeks in the newspaper of general circulation in the quota area. There is a deadline of 10 days from the last publication date to provide the appropriate lottery application for an available license. Lotteries are conducted only for those areas that have more lottery applicants than licenses available. If the department does NOT receive more applications than licenses available, lottery applicants will be given an opportunity to apply for the available license.