Montana Becomes the 9th State to Legalize Sports Betting

By TheNuts - May 14, 2019

Montana sports betting
Montana Becomes the 9th State to Legalize Sports Betting

On May 3rd 2019, Montana’s governor, Steve Bullock, signed a bill to legalize sports betting in that state.  This is the ninth state in the U.S. to attempt to capitalizes on the Supreme Court ruling in May of 2018 that paved the way for states to legalize sports betting.  Since this landmark ruling, powerhouse sports organization namely the NCAA, NFL and the NBA have all supported legalization of sports betting and are working to position themselves to get in on this emerging multi-billion dollar market. 

The Montana bill is effective immediately and sportsbook supporters are hoping wagering will be ready by the start of the football season in August.   This bill’s signing comes on the heals of similar bill that the governor vetoed not too long ago.  The previous bill that was vetoed, opened the market to private operators to run sportsbooks as they saw fit. 

However, this new bill gives the state lottery commission control over sports betting, with the ability to authorize restaurants and taverns to have betting kiosks and mobile apps that can be used only on site.  

Governor Bullock wrote in a letter explaining his views and reasoning on this new bill: 

“For the market to succeed, Montana needs to enter the sports wagering market conservatively-adopting only one of the two models now. If, in two years, the market can tolerate more entrants, then I fully expect the legislature will revisit whether a second model is prudent for our state.”

As states are working towards implementing sports wagering, the private sector is ramping up their efforts as well with the announcement last week of Fox Sports and The Stars Group (parent to PokerStars) forming a partnership. Make no mistake sports betting is coming to the US and in a big way very soon.

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