Montana was the first state to legalize sports betting in 2019, with HB 725 getting signed into law in May, but it took nearly a year before the state was ready to book their first wager. Sports Bet Montana was launched in December 2019, but the state wasn’t officially ready to take bets until the first week of March.
There were some early issues with Montana’s system, as the initial lines provided by Sports Bet Montana (which is run by Intralot, the current supplier of the Montana Lottery since 2014) were drastically worse on, both sides of a bet, when compared to other sportsbooks within the country.
It’s hard to say if Montana has straightened the issues out, with the coronavirus pandemic halting all sporting events at basically the same time as Sports Bet Montana hit the market, but it’s an interesting decision by the state to shut out all the major sportsbooks, while opting to essentially execute all sports betting functions internally.
Is sports betting legal in Montana?
Yes. HB 725 was written into law by Governor Steve Bullock in May 2019, with the Sports Bet Montana system launched to the public nearly 10 months later in March 2020.
Where can I bet at Montana sportsbooks?
Montana does not have any conventional casinos (with table games and/or electronic games), but the state does permit bars to have some video gaming devices. Because of that, sports bets are only available through Sports Bet Montana electronic kiosks, which can be found at over 100 licensed retail locations throughout the state.
As DFS games cannot be regulated by Sports Bet Montana, none of the major players are available to Montana residents.
What about mobile sports betting apps in Montana?
While Sports Bet Montana has a mobile app, their website says, “You can register, deposit funds, and study your bets from anywhere; however, you can only place your bets at a licensed sports betting retailer.”
That means you can prepare your bet anywhere via the app, but you cannot actually place a bet without being on-site of a Sports Bet Montana kiosk, so it’s not really proper mobile sports betting.