Montana sports betting is now legalized for both land-based and mobile operations after Governor Steve Bullock signed the measure into law on May 3, making it the first state to legalize sports betting in 2019. Montana joins several other states which have already either dipped its toes or gone knee-deep into the industry, and have seen positive results from it as well.
Montana becomes the first state in 2019 to legalize sports betting. The list of states with legal sports betting includes the following:
Like many of these other states, Montana online sports betting will also happen in the Treasure State.
Gov. Bullock, a Democrat, was sent two versions of a potential bill to allow traditional wagering as well as Montana online sports betting. One came from the House (HB 725) and was introduced by fellow Democrat Ryan Lynch, while one came from the Senate (SB 303) and was brought forward by Republican Mark Blasdel. The House bill authorized only Intralot, the state lottery provider, to offer Montana sports betting while the Senate bill called for private business to apply for the right to be a MT sports betting operator. Bullock wound up vetoing the Senate bill and signing the House bill into law, technically selecting along party lines.
This Intralot one-provider monopoly is the exact model that is currently in place in our nation’s capital with DC sports betting, which has also passed a sports betting law in 2018.
The Montana state lottery projects that more than $65 million will be wagered in MT sports betting during its first year. At an 8.5 percent tax rate, the government is expected to generate $3.7 million in tax revenue over the first 12 months. Estimates rise to $5.4 million in revenue by 2023.
The measure also allows certain bars and restaurants to set up kiosks on the premises that can be used for place mobile Montana sports betting wagers. This comes on the heels of the bill’s support from The Montana Tavern Association, which sees an opportunity to pull in and keep customers who are there to take part in MT online sports betting.