Low Rated Sportsbooks

  • Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, and West Virginia received the highest sports betting grades at 21.
  • Scoring a 13 (Montana) and 14 (Mississippi), these two states were on the bottom of the list.
  • Discrepencies in the methodology and results may be undervaluing the rankings for MT and MS.

WASHINGTON – In the U.S. Sports Betting Index provided by Consumer Choice Center, Montana and Mississippi are rated as the two worst sports betting states.

Mobile betting played a large factor in the ranking of states with sportsbooks. Both Montana and Mississippi has mobile sports betting, so long as the bettor is located on the casino grounds.

Despite having a casino market in Biloxi (Mississippi) and over 10 dozen retail locations (Montana), this restriction was not the sole factor influencing their grades.

Mississippi Grade

  • Sports Betting Legality: 10
  • In Person/Online: 1
  • Who Controls: 3
  • Sportsbooks Per Capita: 0
  • Total: 14

Montana Grade

  • Sports Betting Legality: 10
  • In Person/Online: 1
  • Who Controls: 1
  • Sportsbooks Per Capita: 1
  • Total: 13

Every state with launched legal sports betting was given a 10 for sports betting legality. This related to the average grade being a 17.76, with Colorado, Iowa, Nevada, and West Virginia scoring the highest (21).

Washington DC was excluded from the study.

Low Scores Come With Confusion

Despite an age of 18 to bet and more sportsbooks than all states but Nevada, the low score for Montana comes with some confusion.

There is only one mobile MT sports betting app, SportsBet Montana, but the options around the state as well as access for young bettors may have been overlooked.

Montana sports betting is authorized by the state lottery, similar to many other states with legal sports betting.

The methodology claims “If the state controls betting, they were given a score of 1. If casinos controlled sports betting they were given a score of 3. If sports books were controlling betting, they were given a score of 5.”

Receiving a grade of 1 for “Who Controls” makes sense based on their regulatory body; however, Montana legalized, set regulations, and launched in 10 months time.

As one of the first states to do so, there weren’t many states to look to for guidance. Still, Montana finished their process on pace with many other states who received better grades on the sports betting rankings

State Time Between Legalization And Launch Consumer Grade
Illinois 9 months 5
Maryland 9 months 3
Michigan 9 months 5
North Carolina 20 months 3
Tennessee 18 months 5
Washington 18 months 3
Washington DC 12 months N/A

The sportsbooks per capita score also was met with some backlash.

“States with 0-2 sportsbooks per 1 million adult residents were given a score of 1. States with 2-5 sportsbooks per 1 million adult residents were given a score of 2. States with 5+ sportsbooks per 1 million adult residents were given a score of 3.”

The per capita is found by “dividing the state‚Äôs adult population by the number of sportsbooks” and then multiplying that number by 1 million.

In Montana’s case, they received a score of 1, despite having perhaps the highest per capita sportsbooks available. With 180 sportsbooks, there is a legal Montana sportsbook in over 50 cities.

At 169 sportsbooks per capita, a ranking of 1 comes off as misleading. Similary, for Mississippi, they have 7.71 sportsbooks per capita; however, Mississippi received a grade of 0.

The fact that mobile sports betting bills have failed to pass was the main focus of the study to call Montana and Mississippi the two worst sports betting states. But, other factors seem to be influencing these rankings that some may not be able to understand.

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