Sports betting in Montana is now legal. This is a very recent development, as it was only signed into law on May 3rd 2019. The Montana Lottery is in charge of running sports wagers. Gamblers in Montana will be able to place sports bets inside bars and restaurants with the appropriate licensing. Sports betting will be available online too, although it will have limitations. Players will only be able to place sports bets online inside these licensed premises. As these developments are so recent, sports betting has not officially gone live yet. A date has not been determined for when this will happen.
Gambling Laws in Montana
There are a range of gambling opportunities in Montana. The Montana Lottery is largely responsible for much of the states’s gambling. It has exisited since 1986 and is part of the larger Multi-State Lottery Association. There are two draw games local to Montana – Montana Cash and 10 Spot. As part of the MUSL, a variety of other draw games available too. There have been Video Lottery Terminals since the 70s, offering keno, bingo and poker. These operate in the private sector, not under Montana Lottery. Since 2008, Montana Lottery has also offered fantasy sports wagers under the name Montana Sports Actions.This was initially designed to boost funds for the Board of Horse Racing. It was a smart move, and we hope to see that sports betting in the Treasure State becomes just as prosperous. And while talking about prosperous states, we cannot skip New Jersey, which is fast in climbing the ladder towards full gambling success and glory. You can also give a look at the sports betting options in NJ in case you are curious.
- We base our information on trustworthy sources such as the Billings Gazette and the Great Falls Tribune to make sure we’re clued up with all industry related news and developments.
- Our experts specialize in much more than just sports betting. We focus on all aspects of the gambling industry, whether you’re interested in casino games like video poker or want to read our online blackjack guide.
- We’re committed to keeping ahead of the latest developments in sports betting by looking to Montana Lottery and the Gambling Control Division for up to date facts.
Most Popular Sports in Montana
The Treasure State is a nation of outdoor lovers due its fantastic landscape and abundance of recreational activities. Its mountainous regions have long drawn in fans of hiking, skiing and horseback riding. Home to world-famous destinations like Yellowstone National Park and Flathead Lake, it’s no surprise that tourism is the fastest growing sector. All of this great outdoors does have an impact on sports in the Big Sky Country. The population is so spread out that there are no major league sports franchises. There are some great minor-league teams that Montanans are proud of, so let’s take a look at them.
Baseball – The Billings Mustangs
Hailing from Montana’s largest city, the Billings Mustangs are a minor league baseball team with a major reputation. They play in the Pioneer League and have since 1948. The team has been affiliated with the Cincinnati Reds since 1974. As far as rookie level teams go, this is one of the longest running affiliations. The Mustangs have produced some notable players in their time. George Brett and Trevor Hoffman have both been inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame. Dehler Park is the stadium the Mustangs call home and where loyal fans come to watch them play. The team last won the Pioneer League Championships in 2003, beating the Provo Angels. They have been reaching the semifinals in recent years, so they’re worth a bet!
Football – Montana Grizzles
The Montana Grizzlies are the University of Montana’s college football team. They play in NCAA Division I as well as competing at the Big Sky Conference. They had a notable season from 1986 to 2011. Fans can watch them play at home at the Washington-Grizzly Stadium. Coach Bobby Hauck will lead the team into this year’s season. The long-standing Bobcats / Grizzlies rivalry comes to a head each year as they play the Griz-Cat game. The winner gets the glory and gets to hold up the Great Divide Trophy. The Bobcats have claimed the trophy for three seasons straight. Perhaps it’s worth a wager that the Grizzlies will fight back this year.
Baseball – Missoula Osprey
Missoula Osprey is a minor league baseball team with Pioneer League membership. They have been affiliated with the Arizona Diamondbacks since 1996. Ogren Park at Allegiance Field is their home turf. The Missoula Osprey’s have won the Pioneer League Championship four times, most recently in 2015. The team has announced that they will be playing under a new name in 2020. It’s up to fans of the Ospreys to come up with the name and logo though. Hopefully the team’s rebranding and investment will spur them on to win the Pioneer League Championship again!
Local History of Sports Betting
Following the defeat of PASPA by the Supreme Court in 2018, states across the US have leapt into action over their newfound right to legislate on sports betting. Montana has been no exception, joining Indiana, Tennessee and Iowa in passing the bill this May. The House bill passed the Senate, permitting Montana sports betting to be controlled by the state’s Lottery. The Montana Lottery says it is ‘now working toward launching sports wagering’.
|May 14th 2018||Sports betting is legalized across the USA when the Supreme Court declares that PASPA is unconstitutional. It is now down to individual states to legislate for or against sports betting.|
|April 15th 2019||The HB475 bill is proposed to allow parimutuel sports betting under the board of horseracing. Sports wagering would theoretically be allowed through parimutuel facilities.However, the bill died.|
|May 3rd 2019||Governor Steve Bullock signs off on bill HB725 to allow sports wagering via the state lottery. The Montana Lottery are given the power to control sports betting. They are currently working on rolling it out for the public, with a date yet to be announced.|
Legal Online Sports Betting Age in Montana
The legal gambling age is 18 in Montana, and the same goes for sports betting. Montana’s gambling is combined with it’s liquor licensing. This means that taverns and bars are often the main gambling facilities. The legal age for alcohol consumption is 21. What’s more, it is written into the bill that online sports betting is only allowed in the confines of these licensed gaming facilities. This means that despite the legal age for gambling being 18, many forms of gambling are much more accessible for the over 21’s even if minors are technically allowed in bars.
Sports Betting Age
Is Online Sports Betting Legal Outside of the State?
Montana is just one of the latest states in the US to legalize online sports betting. In May of 2019, Indiana and Iowa joined Montana and passed their bills in favour of legalization. Tennessee did too, but only permitting sports betting online, not at physical locations. The state to have offered sports betting for the longest is Nevada. The Silver State was grandfathered from the PASPA bill when it came in in 1992, so was able to continue to offer sports betting. New Jersey was at the forefront of the challenge to repeal PASPA and succeeded on May 14th 2018. Following the repeal in 2018 they were able to legalize online sports betting along with Delaware, Mississippi, West Virginia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island. Around 80% of states that have not recently passed a bill or legalized sports betting yet are considering the move. They have introduced bills, which are currently being considered, and it is merely a matter of time before the majority are passed. Projections place most states legalizing by 2021.
Taxes on Your Winnings: Do You Have to Pay Anything?
Gambling winnings are always subject to tax. That is because they are counted as an income. Federal income tax varies from state to state. The IRS will often tax winnings at a flat 25% rate. It is up to the bettor to declare their winnings and pay that tax. Operators must pay tax too. Montana brings in roughly $120 million a year from gambling taxes. The annual gambling revenue is also placed at $1 billion, so it is clearly beneficial for the Big Sky state.
Upcoming Regulation Changes in Montana Sports Betting Law
Now that sports betting has been legalized, residents of Montana just need to sit tight and wait. The Montana Lottery is in charge of rolling out sports betting both online and at physical locations. As there are no casinos in Montana, customers can expect to place their sports wagers are bars and restaurants. Some truck stops with relevant licensing will also be able to offer these facilities. Basically, anywhere that holds a liquor license and offers VLT machines can apply to offer sports betting. Customers who want to place their bets online will still have to be in situ at these locations. The Montana Lottery is hoping for sports betting to become fully functional in time for this year’s football season. That’s great news for fans of the Grizzlies looking to place a bet on their favourite team!