Court ruling could mean more sports gambling in Montana

Posted at 5:31 PM, May 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-07-05 14:59:40-04

HELENA – Monday’s decision by the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down a law prohibiting states from sponsoring betting related to sports could mean more sports betting in the Treasure State.

Angela Nunn with Montana’s Gambling Control Division said Montana already allows a handful of forms of sports betting, like sports pools and sports TAB. The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 would have made them illegal, but Montana was one of four states whose games were grandfathered in.

The Supreme Court decision to strike down PASPA means the state legislature has the authority to allow even more types of sports betting. Nunn said she hasn’t seen any draft proposals or specific legislators interested in putting forward a bill but said it’s likely that will happen in the future.

The Montana Lottery also facilitates two specific forms of sports betting through the Montana Board of Horse Racing. With the Montana Lottery, players wage bets based upon performance of individual athletes within a real sporting event, but not on the outcome of the sporting event itself.

Nunn emphasized that the court ruling doesn’t immediately change anything until the state legislature gets involved.

“We don’t want people under the impression that sports betting is allowed now,” Nunn said.