Montana Big on Sports Wagering

Good news for sports wagering enthusiasts in Montana after a recent proposal calls for as many as 1,400 locations across the Big Sky State to be eligible to accept sports bets.  The Montana Lottery and Sports Wagering Commission released the proposed rules changes in September.

That’s a big turnaround for Montana lawmakers who originally sought to restrict sports wagering to official gaming venues only.  With the signing of House Bill (H 725) earlier this year by Gov. Steve Bullock, the lottery was permitted to offer online betting and wagering at land-based kiosks.  Montana was the ninth state to legalize sports betting and the first in 2019.  Since that legislation was passed, the state lottery further amplified the rule by seeking to tie sports betting licenses to liquor permits.

There are only a handful of traditional land-based casinos in Montana, but the majority of the state’s gaming is conducted in bars and taverns.  Montana state law mandates that those establishments must have a liquor license before they’re allowed to offer gambling on their premises.

With just over 1 million residents in the state, 1,400 potential sports wagering venues means easy and convenient access statewide. Sports betting is expected to generate $65 million in revenue and $3.7 million in taxes for Montana in the first year.