When you sign-up through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission. Learn more >
With a bit of political compromise, Montana has become the first state in 2019 to legalize sports betting in the United States.
Other states are on the doorstep to legalizing sports betting, but Montana surprisingly rushed by all of them in the closing days of their legislative session.
Colorado, Iowa, and Indiana are at the finish line, either needing a governor’s signature or approval by voters.
Tennessee’s governor has not signed a sports betting bill that awaits his signature, but Governor Bill Lee recently said he’ll let the bill pass without signing the measure.
Montana’s bill creates a system that allows the state’s lottery commission to oversee all wagering through kiosks and mobile apps that could be operational before the upcoming NFL season.
With Gov. Bullock’s signature, the measure becomes law immediately as operators immediately scramble to get their sportsbooks and apps up and running.
Democratic Rep. Ryan Lynch was the bill’s sponsor and believes the state will benefit from the additional revenue betting will bring.
“It’s a good day for Montana to be able to see sports betting in the marketplace,” Lynch said.
“I think Montanans will enjoy the new aspect of watching sports for entertainment as well as betting on it.”
Lynch’s bill will allow licensed bars and eateries to have kiosks and mobile applications that bettors can use on premises for betting of sporting events.
The unique agreement to have bars and restaurants be the hub of sports wagering is the result of heavy lobbying from the Montana Tavern Association.
The bill will essentially give these licensed operators a monopoly over sports betting in Montana.
The executive director of the Tavern lobbying group, John Iverson, feels lawmakers were persuaded by the additional income to the food and beverage industry that props up local economies.
“Extra cheeseburgers; extra slices of pizza, a few more people filling seats,” Iverson said of the benefit to the local licensed eatery in Montana.
“The actual revenue from the gaming isn’t going to be significant (for the bars and eateries).”
Lottery officials have called for early estimates of more than $65 million to be bet by residents and visitors to the state in the first fiscal year of existence.
That estimate would result in around $4 million in taxable revenue for the state after winners and the state’s maintenance fees are factored into the bottom line.
Expectations among legislators are that betting will rise to around $87 million in wagers with $5.5 million set aside for revenue for the state by 2023.
All monies made by Montana through sports betting will be funneled back into the state treasury and a small portion will go to a scholarship fund.
Gov. Bullock vetoed a bill that would give sports betting over to private companies, citing the need for Montana to enter the sports betting market slowly.
“A new market like this cannot support sports wagering under both systems at once,” Bullock said.
“For the market to succeed, Montana needs to enter the sports wagering market conservatively.”
Gov. Bullock said that he would revisit the private option after the current law had a chance to establish an expected revenue figure.
North Carolina Sports Betting Legalization Coming Soon?
Betting | 30 May, 2023 | Caleb Tallman
New York 3rd Party Sports Betting Advertisers & Affiliates Legal Updates
Betting | 24 May, 2023 | Caleb Tallman
Fanatics Put Betting Promo Merchandise Combo Offer on Hold
Betting | 22 May, 2023 | Caleb Tallman
© Rebel Penguin ApS 2023 (a subsidiary of Gaming Innovation Group Inc.)
We support responsible gambling. If you feel like you're losing control over your gambling experience, call 1-800-GAMBLER (NJ, PA, WV), 1-800-9-WITH-IT (IN), 1-800-BETS-OFF (IA), 1-800-522-4700 (NV), 1-800-522-4700 (CO, TN), 1-855-2CALLGA (IL), 1-800-270-7117 (MI).
WSN.com is run by iGaming Cloud Inc (a Gaming Innovation Group Subsidiary) and is registered with the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) under affiliate vendor ID 89744, with the Indiana Gaming Commission (IGC) under certificate of registration number SWR-000148, approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board as a gaming service provider, under certificate registration number 117656-1, possesses a Vendor Minor sports betting license from the Colorado Limited Gaming Control Commission (account number 94414163), granted a vendor registration number VR007603-20-001 by the Michigan Gaming Control Board, an interim Sports Wagering Supplier license, under license number SWS 066, issued by the West Virginia Lottery Commission, a sports betting vendor registration, under registration number #100400, issued by the Director of Gaming Licensing and Investigations of the Virginia Lottery to operate in the State of Virginia, and a Vendor Registration issued by the Sports Wagering Committee of the Tennessee Education Lottery Corporation.
Advertising disclosure: WSN contains links to online retailers on its website. When people click on our affiliate links and make purchases, WSN earns a commission from our partners, including ESPN and various sportsbooks.