Of the five states to legalize sports betting thus far in 2019, Montana was the first after it passed legislation last May. It’s now on pace to become the first of the five to roll out their operation.
The state lottery, who will serve as the regulatory body for sports betting, released its rules and regulations for the state’s betting market.
The public has 30 days to read and comment on them before they could potentially be finalized. According to a local news outlet, there will be a public hearing on October 28 at the Montana Lottery headquarters in Helena.
Unlike other states, sports betting in Montana would allow any business that is either licensed with the Lottery or is managed by someone with a gaming license, to offer sports betting.
All of the sports betting kiosks at these private businesses, presumably mostly bars and restaurants, will be operated by Intralot, the Greek company that helps run the state lottery.
According to the first draft of regulations, anybody wishing to sports bet in the Big Sky state would have to create an account with the Montana Lottery. Players will be able to set limits on how much they bet, deposit, spend, or how much time must elapse between deposits as a way to encourage responsible gambling.
On the other hand, residents have the option to exclude themselves from the entire operation and file a form to prevent themselves from creating an account, or stop someone else from creating an account in their name.
If everything goes smoothly and no changes are needed, Montana will likely be up and running in two months.
However, the state went the same route as Washington DC did by choosing to bypass the normal bidding process and grant the contract to Intralot, the same company that runs the DC Lottery. In the nation’s capital, that process resulted in corruption allegations and an unannounced start date, despite legislation passed nearly 12 months ago.