A potential lawsuit could stand in the way of Montana sports betting in the near future.

  • Sports betting in Montana was legalized in May.
  • The Montana Lottery is in charge of regulating sports betting in Montana and issued out their first draft of rules on October 4.
  • Written comments on the proposed rules will be accepted by the Montana Lottery until November 4.

HELENA, Mont. – The Montana Lottery, which will oversee and regulate sports betting in MT, conducted a public hearing on Monday to see how residents and stakeholders felt about their proposed sports wagering rules. One group, in particular, was not fond of those rules.

According to Helena Independent Record, Lyndon Scheveck, a representative of the Arte Group, threatened to file a lawsuit if the Lottery does not change its current provisions for who can operate a sportsbook in Montana.

Sports betting in Montana was legalized in May when MT HB 725 was signed into law. The bill indicates that establishments that are licensed as “gambling operators” can offer sports betting.

Under the current state laws, only alcoholic beverage license holders are eligible to provide certain gambling activities. Scheveck’s argument lies in the fact that the bill never explicitly states that sports betting can only be offered in bars, restaurants, and taverns.

“Not once in that bill does it state that you need a liquor license,” said Scheveck. “They’re trying to add a requirement that wasn’t even in the bill.”

John Iverson, a representative with the Montana Tavern Association, supported the current form of MT sports betting rules.

“We believe the proposed rules clearly and correctly align with legislative intent,” said Iverson.

Whether or not the threat of a lawsuit affects the timeline for when legal sports betting will launch in Montana has yet to be seen.

The Montana Lottery will continue to take written comments on its proposed rules until November 4. The Lottery expects to launch sports betting operations sometime by the end of the calendar year.

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