Sports Betting Moves Forward in Montana

Published November 27, 2019 by Elana K

Sports Betting Moves Forward in Montana

The Montana Lottery Commission has finally approved rules for its new sports betting product, Sports Bet Montana, and they will be published on December 6.

Montana lawmakers approved sports betting in back in May 2019, and at the time, there was speculation that operations could be up and running by the end of the year. At this point, that's not going to happen, but at least the main hurdle has been jumped - the Montana Lottery Commission has finally approved rules for its new sports betting product, Sports Bet Montana.

“We’ve been working hard since May to create and build Sports Bet Montana,” commented Angela Wong, a director for the Lottery Commission. The hope is that tax revenue generated by sports betting will go toward the Montana general fund, the education system (science, in particular), and technology.

How Sports Bet Montana Will Work

The approved rules are scheduled to be published on December 6, but some of them are already known. The Lottery will allow as many as 1400 Montana businesses to accept sports wagers, but only establishments that already have a gambling license can apply for a sports betting license. The rules are designed to allow sports betting to take place at locations throughout the state, as opposed to being concentrated in just a few areas.

Mobile betting will be offered, but only if the bettors are located at the physical establishments that offer sports betting. Additionally, no players, staff members, or college/pro sports officials in the state will be allowed to place sports bets.

Getting the System Up and Running

Once the rules are published, the Lottery Commission can start accepting license applications, and this is expected to happen before the end of the year. However, if applications are only coming through in December, it’s clear that actual sports bets will not be accepted until 2020. The big question now is whether sports betting will be ready in time for the Superbowl in February. At the pace that Montana has been going, it’s not likely.


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