wo bills were discussed Wednesday at a Senate Business, Labor and Economic Affairs Committee meeting, aimed at legalizing sports betting and regulating it through the Board of Horse Racing and the Montana Lottery, both of which have no oversight from the Gambling Control Division, the Great Falls Tribune reports.
Since both sponsors say it’s OK with them if both approaches are approved, Montana could soon join the list of states that have already passed sports wagering legislation after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal ban on this gambling modality.
Rep. Brad Tschida, R-Missoula, sponsored House Bill 475, which would expand pool-based horse betting systems to other team sports,
“For those of us who don’t bet, it really has no impact on us," Tschida said. "For those who like to bet, it’s an opportunity from them to do that in a way that is organized and well-maintained.”
The second bill heard was House Bill 725, sponsored by Rep. Ryan Lynch, D-Butte, which would allow the Montana State Lottery to offer sports betting.
“The reason the Lottery makes sense is that it’s already existing," Tschida said. "So we have existing infrastructure that’s been already laid out across the state. What this does would allow the Lottery to authority and the opportunity to offer sports wagering within communities.”
Both bills passed out of the House last month.