On May 14, 2018, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned, allowing each state to propose and create their own laws and regulations for sports betting. Montana was one of four states exempt from PASPA; it was allowed to offer basic sports betting in the forms of pull tabs and pools.
Montana’s gambling laws are different from most states in the US. The state had plenty of legal gambling before PASPA was overturned, so there was little surprise when the state approved legal sports betting in May 2019. The Treasure State had already legalized charitable gaming, the state lottery, keno, video and live poker, video slots, and off-track horse betting.
Because any place with a liquor license can offer video gambling and live poker, there are countless unofficial casinos spread across the state. On the other hand, casino-style table games are still not allowed at any of the 10 tribal casinos. Online wagering in any form besides horse racing is also illegal in Montana unless you are placing a sports bet while inside a licensed retailer.
Where to Bet on Sports in Montana
On May 3, 2019, sports betting was approved after Governor Steve Bullock signed off on bill H275. It was officially launched in March 2020 and is currently overseen by the Montana Lottery Commission.
Sports bettors in Montana can only place wagers when physically present at an authorized retailer. All in-person and mobile bets need to be placed inside one of the retailers to be legal. The Sports Bet Montana app and website also adhere to betting’s physical limitations; you can only use Sports Bet Montana in an authorized retailer. Because Montana law permits gambling and sports betting at any establishment with a liquor license, sports bettors can bet at countless kiosks in bars and restaurants. There are roughly 1,400 locations that could be approved to offer sports betting in the state. Bets are capped at $250 for kiosks and $1,000 when online.
Though COVID-19 hit the nation right as Montana was set to launch legalized sports betting, Montana’s sheer number of possible betting locations should mean great potential for sports betting in Big Sky Country.
Montana Sports Betting FAQs
Is sports betting legal in Montana?
Yes. Sports betting was legalized in Montana in May 2019 and fully operational as of March 2020.
Can you gamble online in Montana?
Yes, you can wager on off-track horse racing and sports online. However, all online betting must take place inside a licensed retailer location.
Does Montana have a professional sports team?
No, Montana does not have a professional sports team. Instead, the state has numerous minor league sports teams.