Montana Sports Betting Debut Feels Viral Impact

The Montana Lottery Commission had begun installing the necessary infrastructure for 142 sports-betting license holders in the state when the NBA and other sports leagues were shut down by the coronavirus.

The Montana Lottery Commission issued 142 licenses for sports betting but must still wait for the go-ahead to accept bets.

Local media outlet KULR8 reports that the Commission is “still installing” the infrastructure and ensuring that all workers tied to the state’s sports gambling operations receive the necessary training on Montana’s Sports Bet Montana gambling kiosks.

The installation of betting equipment began March 11, hours before the NBA suspended its season after a Utah Jazz player tested positive for COVID-19. Other leagues followed suit.

“The concern is for the community and not for sports betting,” said lottery spokeswoman, Jennifer McKee. “Sports betting will pick up as sports resumes.”

Unlike other states, Montana permits any business with a liquor license to install a Sports Bet Montana kiosk, which means that more than 1,400 businesses across the state are eligible to operate as a sportsbook if approved for a license.

In addition to the kiosks, bettors can wager online, but the online sports gambling app only works at one of the Sports Bet Montana locations. The app allows bets of up to $1,000 where in-store kiosks have a limit of $250 per wager.