Montana Lottery Avoids Major Obstacle In Sports Betting

After an interim legislative committee meeting on Tuesday to postpone officials from finalising draught rules that bind sports wagering licences to liquor licences, the Montana Lottery has avoided a major obstacle in its attempt to provide sports betting in the state.

The rules allow businesses to offer sports wagering within city limits if they have all-beverage liquor licences and if they have beer and wine licences outside built-in areas.

Critics argued that the legislation that legalised sports wagering in Montana did not refer to liquor licences, but the Department of Administration said it was within the rule-making authority of the lottery, reports KHQ.

Hungry Horse’s Republican Sen. Dee Brown tried to delay the law adoption. “I think they are extensive enough that we need to look them over and make good choices. We can’t do these quickly,” he said.

After a tie vote on the State Administration and Veterans Affairs Committee among House members, the motion failed.

Members of the Committee also decided on Tuesday that they had no standing to challenge the proposal of the lottery to add sports wagering to its Intralot lottery management contract.

Mike Manion, legal counsel for the Montana Lottery and Sports Wagering Commission, said he planned to add games to the 2014 state contract with Intralot, and the law that allowed sports wagering described it as a lottery game.

He said that if the Legislature required the lottery to make another application for proposals to run the game, they might have included it in the bill.

On wrapping up the discussion, Republican Rep. Wendy McKamey, the committee chairwoman of Great Falls said: “The desire of this committee at this time is to take no action and let it be as it is.”

The Montana Lottery Commission is scheduled to meet on November 21 to consider the rules that would allow the use of a mobile application or gaming terminal for sports wagering. A spokeswoman said that lottery officials have been working on the launch since May.