Montana Hopes That the NFL Season Will Improve Sports Betting Action

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NFL Montana Sign

Hopes were high in the state of Montana that by legalizing sports betting, the industry would generate a huge profit with a healthy tax revenue for the state.

Unfortunately, 2020 didn’t play out as anyone had expected and the industry hasn’t had the roaring start that Montana had hoped for.

However, all of that may be about to change thanks to the official start to the NFL season, as the sports betting industry hopes this will be the excitement needed to get people placing wagers in the state.

How the Year Has Played Out So Far

While it certainly hasn’t been quite as big of a turnout as the state hoped for, the fact is that Sports Bet Montana still managed to see over $5 million dollars placed in sports wagers this year.

Considering the NFL season is just getting started now, there’s still plenty of time to bring in big numbers before the year is over.

It was really just a case of unlucky timing on the part of Sports Bet Montana. Its sports betting terminals had been set up and were live the week of March 9th. Unfortunately by the end of that week, all pro sports were shut down due to the health crisis, which meant any chance of having a big launch were dashed.

Currently, online gambling isn’t allowed in Montana and the only places sports wagering is allowed to take place at are in licensed establishments.

That drastically cut down on the wagering opportunities for people in the state, again a case of bad luck and bad timing. Once the bars, casinos, and restaurants were forced to shut down in the state, residents had no place to go ant put down a wager even if they wanted to.

Reopening Efforts Were Slow at First

Once establishments were given the go-ahead to open up again, it was a bit of a slow start. There weren’t a ton of sports to bet on and those that were available didn’t necessarily carry the appeal that big leagues like the MLB, NBA, and NFL carry.

It wasn’t until July that sports betting finally got off the ground in Montana thanks to the return of the MLB. This was the first injection of excitement as fans and bettors really started to place wagers.

Things have continued to trend upwards for the industry since July, but now that the NFL has started, the hopes are high that sports betting will finally get the interest that had been expected back in March.

NFL Opening Weekend Is a Huge Hit

Now that the NFL opening weekend is in the bag, numbers are being released. An impressive $189,000 was wagered during opening weekend on the NFL alone. Jennifer McKee, Montana Lottery communication manager, made the following comments about betting on football:

“This is probably the most popular sport in Montana, so we knew football was going to be a big deal and it is. We’re so glad that it’s back.”

McKee went on to state that the hope is for sports betting to reach $500,000 a week and continue to increase from there.

The fact that everything is word of mouth right now, and that there isn’t an official ad campaign or efforts happening as of yet, just goes to show how much potential there is for the state of Montana to tap into.

Rick Rockwell

As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...

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