The Montana Lottery announced Thursday that Sports Bet Montana will be the name of its new sports wagering product.
The news came at a regularly-scheduled meeting of the Montana Lottery Commission in Helena, which also approved the official rules governing parts of the Lottery’s sports-wagering product.
The Montana Lottery expects to begin accepting applications by the end of the year from sales agents who want to offer Sports Bet Montana.
"We’ve been working hard since May to create and build Sports Bet Montana,” said Lottery Director Angela Wong said in a press release.
Bettors will have to gamble within establishments that have machines selling lottery tickets already — usually found in taverns or bars.
Jennifer McKee, Montana Lottery communications manager, told MTN News in May 2019: “What that means for Montana is you won’t be seeing sports wagering at every grocery store and gas station that currently sells Montana Lottery. It will be only locations get a sports wagering license, and it will only [be] in locations where it makes sense."
The law prohibits any current Montana collegiate or professional coach, player, trainer, staff member or referee from making a bet on any sports game or event. Even athletes competing in sports like golf or rodeo are prohibited.
It's estimated that sports betting will raise $1.5 to $2 million in revenue for the state’s general fund and another $3 to $4 million for a school scholarship fund for science and technology learning.
The Lottery has been working toward launching sports betting since May, when a bill bringing sports wagering to Montana and placing it with the Lottery was signed into law< /span> . Part of the work of launching the new product involved drafting official state rules detailing how parts of the new product would be administered.
Under Montana law, the rules must go through a process designed to ensure the public has a voice in drafting the rules.
The process passed a major milestone on Thursday when the commission approved the rules. The rules must now be published in the Montana Administrative Register.