Montanans Legally Bet Over $50 Million in 2022
Sports betting in Montana has been legal since March of 2020. It wasn't the best time for betting to become legal in Montana due to the pandemic. There were not a lot of sporting events for people to wager on at the time. A lot has changed since then.
Betting Is Legal In Montana Now
Betting on athletics is big business. If you listen to 1450 KGRZ Fox Sports Radio, you will hear more about sports betting. It used to be the only time you would hear the announcers discussing the “odds” or “the lines” was during a commercial. These days it seems that even during sports news stories there will be some mention of how the news will be affecting the sports betting.
There Are Rules and Ways To Bet In Montana
Sports betting in Montana is done through the Montana Lottery and its app. You need to be in a retail location in order to use either the app or an authorized Montana Lottery kiosk to place your bets. I reached out to the Montana Lottery to find out more about sports betting in Montana. I spoke with Brady Shulz from the Montana Lottery Sports Betting division.
Montana Does Not Have Pro Teams
Montana does not have any professional sports teams. I asked Brady about the amount of betting that happens on the University of Montana and Montana State University sports programs. He said,
I would say definitely for football, both those schools are bigger markets for college football, competing with, the top games like Alabama or Michigan. We really do see around the same numbers as those big games, especially when it's in the playoffs and things like that... obviously Montana doesn't have professional sports. Cat, Griz. I mean, that's their Super Bowl. That's Montana and sports fans Super Bowl. Right?
Super Bowl Betting In Montana Is Going To Be Big
Speaking of the Super Bowl. It has always been a major sporting event that people bet on, even if they don’t normally bet on sports. The Montana Lottery is also offering more bets than what they would normally offer for a regular season or playoff game. Brady went on to say,
Yeah, yeah, it's huge. There's more. We’re going to be offering more markets, more things to bet on than you would see at any normal NFL game that we've offered earlier in the year.
How Much Did Montana Bet On Sports?
According to the numbers that Brady sent me. Montana bet a lot on sports in 2022. The total “handle” for bets was $51,173,079. The total "payout" for bets was $43,743,742. The total number of bets made in Montana was 1,525,842. That was all done in one calendar year.
Will We See Betting Changes In Montana?
Another question I asked Brady was if there was any chance in the near future that we could see the Montana Lottery Sports Betting app be independent of having to use a kiosk at a retailer. He said,
At this point, it's up to the state level, and their laws and regulations. That would be dependent on anything they would choose to either open that up or not.
It Has Been Almost Three Years Since Gambling Has Been Legal In Montana
If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, you can call 1-888-900-9979 or you can visit mtproblemgambling.org.