While Montana is famous for its wild, natural beauty; there is a new type of entertainment to attract visitors to the Treasure State. Online and retail sports betting went live in MT in March 2020 after Governor Steve Bullock signed HB 725 into law in May 2019.
Gov. Bullock vetoed another bill, SB 330, the same day. This bill proposed that each licensed betting location be able to partner with online sportsbooks with oversight from a regulator, as is common in many other US states. The veto meant that the state’s lottery would solely control sports betting.
The Commission operates the SportsBet Montana betting app, which you can only use on the grounds of licensed betting facilities in the state. However, there are hundreds of betting facilities, as casinos, lottery retailers, and locations serving alcohol can apply for a license. This means Montana is one of the states with the most in-person betting facilities in the US.
|Regulator||Launch date||Tax rate||Registration|
|Montana Lottery Commission (Operator)||March 9, 2020||N/A||Online|
Montana betting regulations are somewhat different than in other states. For one, you can bet on sports if you are 18. Read this complete guide written by our experts about Montana sports betting. Discover the state’s betting laws, legislative history, and some popular teams for sports betting.
SportsBet Montana is the only sportsbook available in the state, operated by the Montana Lottery Commission. The online platform launched on March 9, 2020, along with hundreds of betting kiosks in retail lottery locations, casinos, bars, and restaurants.
The sportsbook is available via its desktop site and mobile apps for iOS and Android. To place bets on the app, you’ll need to have your device’s location settings active, so the operator can verify that you are in a licensed betting location.
All profits from mobile sports betting on SportsBet Montana go to the state. The government and the venues that offer the betting platform share profits for retail sports betting.
While many states in the US license commercial betting operators and encourage multiple sportsbooks to launch in a state, Montana has taken a different approach by only allowing the state lottery to operate sports betting. Even if you are an experienced bettor in other US legal states, it is probably a good idea to familiarize yourself with the rules in Montana before betting.
Yes, online sports betting is legal in Montana. The state launched sports betting in March 2020 through the Montana Lottery, which launched the SportsBet Montana app. The Lottery also released kiosks at licensed facilities like taverns and restaurants.
Even if you are using the online betting app, you must be within the grounds of one of these licensed locations. However, you can see your account, build bet slips, and deposit anywhere in the state.
You can bet on various professional and collegiate sports in Montana, including basketball, baseball, ice hockey, football, soccer, tennis, boxing, MMA, golf, and motorsports. The Montana Lottery Commission decides what market you can bet on and released its official list of approved sports in February 2020.
College sports betting, including bets on the state’s two collegiate teams, is available. However, you can usually only bet on teams that compete in the Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS), as markets offered on teams from the Football Championship Subdivision (FCS) is limited.
Although you can also bet on horse racing in Montana, the lottery doesn’t operate pari-mutual betting. Instead, you can use third-party betting sites like TVG or TwinSpires. You can also bet in person at a horse race track or visit an off-track betting location.
Unlike other states in the US, where the legal gambling age is 21, you need to be 18 or older to bet legally in Montana. In addition, certain people are restricted from betting, such as employees of locations offering sports betting. You also cannot bet if you are prohibited by law through self-exclusion or a criminal record.
Anyone in a professional or college sports team cannot bet on sports, including owners, players, and coaches. If you are a member of a league which creates rules for sports, like the NFL or NCAA, you also are prohibited from betting.
Most US sportsbooks use a provider for live stats and data on major league sports. However, the Montana Lottery Commission and SportsBet Montana do not have a partnership with any official league data provider, so you won’t get official league data while betting in-play.
A sports betting handle shows the amount of money wagered in a state, regardless of whether any bets are winners. Montana sports betting launched in March 2020 in lottery retailers, bars, and restaurants and was significantly impacted by the outbreak of Covid-19.
Since these venues began to reopen in July 2020, the betting handle has grown considerably. However, Montana operates with only one sportsbook, and the state’s population is considerably smaller than some states in the US, meaning the handle is smaller than other states.
There are no major league sports teams in Montana. Still, the state has many passionate sports fans. Thousands get behind the state’s two college sports programs, the Montana Grizzlies and Montana State Bobcats, and professional teams in surrounding states. We’ve listed some popular teams below for Montana’s professional sports fans.
Colorado Avalanche is one of Montana's most popular ice hockey teams, despite hailing from Denver, CO. The franchise became the Avalanche in 1995 when the Quebec Nordiques relocated to Denver. The Avalanche didn’t take long to find success and won the Stanley Cup in its first year in the Rocky Mountain region. The team has won the Stanley Cup twice since then, as well as three conference titles, three Presidents’ Trophies, and 11 divisional titles.
Hailing from nearby Washington State, the Seattle Seahawks are one of the biggest NFL teams in Montana. The Seahawks have the largest fan club in the state, the Montana Seahawkers.
Formed in 1974, the Seahawks play home games at Lumen Field. The Seahawks were an AFC team from 1977 to 2001 but moved to the NFC as part of the 2002 NFL Expansion. Despite winning just one Super Bowl in 2013, the franchise has claimed three conference championships and 11 divisional titles.
One of Montana's most popular basketball teams is the Portland Trail Blazers, located in Portland, Oregon. Playing in the NBA’s Western Conference, the Trail Blazers were formed in 1970 and won an NBA championship in 1977. The Trail Blazers is the only team in the NBA in the Pacific Northwest.
Portland has advanced to the NBA Finals three times as conference champion, in 1977, 1990, and 1992. The team has also won six divisional titles.
With a proud college sports history in the Big Sky Conferences, Montana has a history of hosting some huge college sports events. You can see some of the biggest sports events MT hosts below.
Held yearly, the Big Sky Conference Men’s Basketball Tournament has been held ten times in Montana. The state’s Dahlberg Arena and Brick Breeden Fieldhouse have previously held the event. Before 1976, the Big Sky Conference did not feature a conference tournament. When the competition first launched, it was initially a four-team tournament. Since 2016, it has featured all teams in the Big Sky Conference.
The Big Sky Conference sends one automatic qualifier to the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament. The Montana Grizzlies have won the most Big Sky tournaments, with eleven championships.
The highlight game of the historic rivalry between the University of Montana and Montana State football teams, known as the Brawl of the Wild, is played yearly in the Big Sky Conference Football season. Beginning in 1897, it is one of the oldest rivalries in NCAA Division I and the fourth-oldest in the FCS. Games take place on campus, with Montana home games at Washington-Grizzly Stadium and Montana State home games at the Bobcat Stadium.
The winner of the Brawl receives the Great Divide Trophy. It is one of the heaviest trophies in college football, weighing 300 lb. The trophy was made in 2001, and the two schools agreed that the school with the most wins at the end of the 21st century would take permanent possession.
While Montana doesn’t have dedicated retail sportsbooks; there are hundreds of betting locations in the state. The Montana Lottery Commission operates SportsBet Montana betting kiosks in casinos, lottery retailers, and alcohol license-holding retailers. This is because the Montana Lottery Commission runs the state’s sports betting market directly and enables locations like casinos, lottery retailers, and retailers with alcohol licenses to operate betting kiosks. Check out some of the most popular retail sports betting locations below.
|Big John’s Casino||Great Falls|
|Black Gold Casino||Bainville|
|Broken Arrow Steak House Casino||Deer Lodge|
|Cellar Casino||Miles City|
|City Bar||Great Falls|
|Diamond D Casino||Missoula|
|Evaro Bar & Casino||Missoula|
|Fowl Play Sports Bar Casino||Laurel|
|Golden Moose Bar and Casino||Hamilton|
|Grand Plaza Casino||Butte|
|Halftime Sports Bar||Great Falls|
|Happy Endings Casino||Anaconda|
|Jackrabbit Red’s Casino||Belgrade|
|Lil Lucky’s Casino||Big Timber|
|Lil Lucky’s Casino||Boulder|
|Lucky Bucky’s Casino||Helena|
|Lucky Lil’s Casino||Wolf Point|
|Lucky Logger Casino||Kalispell|
|Magic Diamond Casino||Bozeman|
|Magic Diamond Casino||Columbia Falls|
|Montana Lil’s Casino||Shelby|
|The Den Sports Bar||Billings|
|The Do Bar||Great Falls|
|The Gaming Garage||Missoula|
|Thomas Meagher Bar||Missoula|
|Winners Circle Sports Bar||Billings|
SportsBet Montana provides a self-exclusion service for account holders through the desktop site and mobile app. To self-exclude from the sportsbook, you’ll need to visit “My Account” while using SportsBet Montana and select the self-exclusion section.
When opting for self-exclusion, your account will remain closed for a minimum of six months, and under no circumstances can it be reactivated, unlike a standard account closure. You will be able to withdraw any funds deposited.
SportsBet Montana also offers other responsible gambling tools like deposit limits if you want daily, weekly, or monthly limits for how much you can spend. There are also bet limits that allow you to limit yourself to a maximum wager, session limits to control the amount of time you spend on the app, and an optional cooling-off period.
Yes, you can bet on sports in Montana. If you are 18 or older, within the state boundaries, and within the limits of a licensed sports betting facility, you can bet on sports. There are options to bet using sports betting kiosks at casinos, taverns, and restaurants. Or, you can use the SportsBet Montana app in these licensed locations.
Anyone of the legal age (18) within the boundaries of a licensed betting location can bet on sports in Montana using the SportsBet Montana desktop site or mobile app. You do not have to live in Montana, but you can only bet if you are in a licensed facility. While you can make bet slips and deposit anywhere in MT, you won’t be able to access the SportsBet Montana website or app outside of the state.
MT sports betting is extremely safe, as Montana’s only legal sports betting site, SportsBet Montana, is operated by the state’s lottery commission. The Lottery Commission ensures that the site operates to strict safety standards so your money is safe. In addition, the Commission regularly tests retail betting kiosks to ensure licensed locations are operating fairly.
Horse racing betting is legal in Montana. You can visit the state’s only active horse racing track, the Great Falls Turf Club, and place pari-mutuel bets in person. There are also six off-track betting locations where you can bet legally. Online horse racing betting is also available with operators like TVG and TwinSpires.
Yes, you can bet on sports on your phone in Montana. However, unlike in other states, there are restrictions on where you can use your phone to bet. You must use SportsBet Montana within a licensed betting facility to wager legally.
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