Montana has adopted a slow and steady approach to legalizing sports betting in the state. While the state could be late to the party, it is inching closer to its goals. This week, the Montana Lottery and Sports Wagering Commission approved a set of draft rules for the wagering market.
A new sports betting market
Gov. Steve Bullock approved sports betting in the state earlier this year by signing legislation that legalizes wagering on athletic events. Montana was the 9th state in the US to approve sports betting. However, since then, 19 states have approved a legalized market in their jurisdiction. Montana was expected to make start operations by the end of 2019. Even though it is moving relatively slowly, it is in line with its own schedule.
It will publish the new draft rules on December 6. They are expected to allow more than 1,400 businesses in the state to start offering sports betting services. The scope of the legal gambling industry is much wider here, as it is not limited to land-based casinos and online sportsbooks alone. Taverns, restaurants, bars and other businesses with a liquor license will be able to accept wagers. The gambling market in the state could literally explode.
When will the citizens start wagering?
The Commission said that it has been working tirelessly on the rules since May to create a marketplace in the state. It added,
“We are excited to roll out Sports Bet Montana – but first, we have just a little bit more work to do before we are ready to begin accepting licenses from sales agents to begin offering Sports Bet, Montana.”
It did not specify how long it would take for citizens to start wagering finally. However, Montana Lottery states that it is creating a licensing system that desists from creating a few dedicated gambling hubs within the state. Instead, it wants to create a more decentralized infrastructure, accessible to one and all.
The license applications will begin soon after it publishes the rules in early December. The Commission isn’t predicting the volume of licenses it expects to receive. It has not kept mum about the time frame it would take to approve these applications.
The State Department of Revenue said that sole proprietorship establishments with liquor licenses would pay anywhere between $5,000 to $20,000 as seating emoluments, about $800 as a gambling license fee and $400 as a beverage payment.