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Sport betting is now available in Montana

Posted at 7:08 PM, Mar 11, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-11 23:40:37-04

HELENA — Several licensed locations had their Sports Bet Montana kiosks installed on Wednesday Mar. 11. The Montana Lottery will be rolling out more than a hundred kiosks to locations across the state in the coming days.

“We've got 10 crews across the state,” said Jennifer McKee, Montana Lottery Communications manager. “They were prepositioned [Tuesday] and they’re delivering terminals, training retailers and moving on to the next place, and they’re going to keep going until all of the licensed locations have terminals.”

There are a couple ways people can place a bet.

“You have to be in a licensed location, in one of our licensed retailers, they'll have a terminal,” explained MCKee. “You can place the bet on the terminal with cash, or you can place it through the website and very, very soon you'll be able to place a bet through the app.”

The app for Sports Bet Montana is unavailable for download as of Mar. 11. Lottery staff say it is ready to go, it just has to be approved by the Apple App Store and Google Play before it goes live.

The first step people need to do in order to make a sports wager on their phone is create an account, which can be done on the Sports Bet Montana website.

The registration requires a form of personal identification, like driver's license or the last 4 digits of a social security number, to make sure the person registering the account is who they say they are.

People are only able to add money to their e-wallet attached to the account through a debit card or bank account.

Once the account is created and money has been added, the person can then start making bets.

Just like all gambling in the state, you have to be 18 to make a wager with Sports Bet Montana.

Kiosk bets are limited to $250, while mobile bets are capped at $1,000.

Small winnings can be claimed at any retailer, while winnings over $600 have to be collected from the lottery office. There is also a $100,000 cap on winnings, and the game will inform you if your potential earnings from a bet would be capped.

Each location has geo-beacons than ensure bets are only made within the establishment.

People can check their account at any time on their phone to look at the odds, but as soon as they step outside the mobile device loses the ability to make a bet.

Dax Cetraro, owner of the Rialto in Helena, said they’re excited to have the machine and system in place.

“I think it has the potential to bring in a different clientele,” said Cetraro,” and I think we’ll see a lot of people who have never made a wager before come out and try a bet on these for a favorite team.”

There are a lot of betting options for sports wagering enthusiasts.

For example: people can make a moneyline bet on a favorite basketball team to win a match up, make a prop bet on which 10 minute interval the first goal will be scored in a soccer game and then combine them into a parlay bet.

“There will be a little bit of a learning curve, but I think people will catch on quickly,” said Cetraro.

The Lottery has tips to help people understand and learn the types of bets that can be made on their website.

McKee says throughout the entire process, they wanted to make a system that made sense for Montana and the people that call Big Sky County home.

“It's not destination gaming, it's meant to be used by Montanans wherever they are,” said McKee. “You go to your favorite sports bar and you can place a bet. We're rural, and we're very big and we don't have any major cities with any professional teams. So designing a product that would work for everyone, no matter where they were, that was one of the really fun challenges about building Sports Bet Montana.”

The approved professional and collegiate sports are: basketball, baseball, ice hockey, football, soccer, tennis, boxing/MMA, golf and motor sports.

Approved bets include: moneyline, over/under, in-game betting, parlay, spread, prop bets and future bets.

More information about Sports Bet Montana can be found here.