Sports betting is big business and the popularity continues to increase across the country and specifically in Montana. The NFL Playoffs are just getting underway and that will lead up to the biggest one day sports betting event of the year, the Super Bowl.

Sports Betting in Montana is As Popular As Ever

Montana Lottery's Sports Bet Montana has shown it is big business for the state. In 2023 betting on sports in Montana continues to grow. 2024 also kicked off the year with a record breaking event to set the pace for the upcoming year. I spoke with Brady Schultz with Sports Bet Montana about the numbers for 2023 and some interesting statistics to start 2024. According to the numbers Montana saw a 22% increase in the total "handle" of sports bets. The "handle" is a betting term for sales.

We saw an increase in handles about a 22% increase in  total from 2023 to reaching just under $63,000,000 in total handle... With the payout being just under $54,000,000, so that was what was paid.

The payout for 2023 was a 19% increase over the payout in 2022.

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The Montana Grizzlies Were A Big Bet

2024 got off to a big start for betting. The University of Montana Grizzlies playing in the FCS National Championship game was big boost for local college football betting. According to Brady, the average "handle" on a Griz Football game is around  $56,000. For the National Championship game, over $328,000 was wagered on the that one game. That is an over 480% increase. This was the only game, according to Brady's memory, in the past two years, that at least one bet was placed at every single sports betting retailer in Montana. There are 476 retailers across the state.

The Total Number of Bets Increased in Montana

There were a total of over 1.8 million sports bets placed in Montana in 2023, an increase of 19% over the number of bets in 2022. With the increase in betting with just the National Championship game in January, it looks like 2024 could be a record breaking year for sports betting in Montana. Please play responsibly.

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Gallery Credit: Will Gordon

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