Despite SUPCO ruling, sports gambling may not arrive in Montana anytime soon

Posted at 7:25 PM, May 14, 2018
and last updated 2018-05-14 21:25:35-04

MISSOULA – The Supreme Court’s decision on Monday sent waves throughout a country obsessed with sports.

The court ruled with New Jersey, allowing states the power to legalize sports gambling.

Several states are expected to jump at the opportunity immediately, but you probably won’t see sports books in Montana anytime soon. 

That is because Monday’s ruling does not actually impact the Treasure State. Montana already could allow sports gambling because old laws were grandfathered in when the U.S. passed anti-gambling legislation in 1992.

But the state has chosen not to allow sports gambling outside of state-run fantasy games. Legislators who spoke with MTN News on Monday thought a bill to allow sports books could be presented in the next session in 2019, but they did not believe a bill would pass.

And while regulated gambling could bring in more revenue for the state, many still oppose it on moral grounds. 

Rep. Forrest Mandeville (R-Columbus) believes it’s more likely the legislature could request a study on the positives and negatives of sports gambling, which could influence a possible bill in future years.