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Montana Sports Bettors Could Place Bets at 1,400 Locations

The state of Montana is expecting to have sports betting fully operational by the end of the year. It was the first state in 2019 to sign off on sports betting, and the ninth overall. Montana sports bettors who don’t like placing bets online or through a mobile betting app will soon be able to visit 1,400 businesses to place sports bets. This means that there’s one betting location for every 764.2 Montanans.

The Montana Lottery and Sports Wagering Commission filed a proposal that across the Big Sky State, there are 1,400 eligible sports betting locations. The commission released rule changes in September. They are subsequently holding a public forum for residents to comment on the issue on Monday, October 28 to November 4 in Helena, the state capital.

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Previous rules restricted Montana sports bettors to placing bets at official gaming venues. The recent signing of House Bill (H 725) by Governor Steve Bullock, allows the lottery to offer online sports betting and wagering land-based kiosks. Then, the Montana Lottery Commission further extended the scope of the rule to tie sports betting licenses to liquor permits. According to the rule change proposal, this will help limit “any adverse impacts of an overabundance of population”.

Montana Sports Bettors to Place Bets in Taverns and Bars

It seems like this rule change proposal fits with the current state mandate. Even though it’s home to a handful of traditional casinos, most gambling on Montana takes place in bars and taverns. Moreover, for a venue to host gambling it must first have a liquor license. Based off this, Montana sports bettors could have 1,400 locations to place sports bets at. This figure is an approximation from the number of existing liquor license holders.

Montana sports bettors will be allowed to bet on both professional and amateur sports. This is a deviation from the norm where most states have banned betting on college games.

The state is expecting to make US$65 million in revenue and US$3.7 million in taxes in its first year. They predict those numbers to grow to US$87 million and US$5.4 million respectively by 2023.

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