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Montana State Legislature Unsuccessful in Overruling Governor’s Veto on Proposed Sports Betting Measure

The Montana State Legislature has not managed to overrule the veto which Governor Steve Bullock had imposed on a bill that would have seen sports betting expansion.

Yesterday, Montana Secretary of State’s office unveiled the results of a veto rejection poll on the proposed piece of legislation called Senate Bill 30. The measure was supported by 54 House members and 20 Senate members, but it needed the votes of 67 state representatives and 34 senators to pass.

If the State Governor imposes a veto on a bill after the Legislature adjourns, Montana lawmakers need to take part in an e-mail poll and vote whether or not they want to reject the veto. This, however, could happen only in case the bill had been backed from no less than two-thirds of each chamber of the local Legislature.

Senate Bill 330, which was sponsored by Senator Mark Blasdel, was one of the two proposed pieces of legislation seeking to legalize sports betting operations in Montana. The other measure, House Bill 725, which was sponsored by Democratic Representative Ryan Lynch of Butte was aimed at sports betting legalization through the Montana Lottery. Both measures were given the green light with large majorities in each Legislature chamber, but Governor Bullock imposed a veto on SB 330, claiming that the Montana gambling sector could currently make viable only one of the proposed sports betting models.

Two Sports Betting Bills Rolled Out in Latest Legislative Session

The state of Montana has been able to legally offer sports gambling for several decades. At the time when the US Supreme Court stroke down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) federal ban, Montana was actually one of the four states which could provide sports betting services to their customers. Despite that, it has stayed almost fully away from sports betting, except for the authorization of pool betting operations.

Senate Bill 330, which Governor Bullock vetoed, was seeking to allow all established gambling locations across the state to install special sports betting kiosks which could be accessed by gamblers who are 18 or older. Under the provisions of the proposed measure, mobile sports betting would have also been allowed to players who were physically located at one of the approved sports betting facilities at the time when the bet was made.

The other sports betting bill which was rolled out in the state of Montana during the latest legislative session, House Bill 725, was actually signed into law by Governor Bullock. Under this piece of legislation, the Montana Lottery would be able to offer sports betting services to local residents, with the new gambling operation set to officially go live within 12 months.

Despite some aspects of sports betting offering should be clarified further, the basic issues related to the new form of gambling are already known. Sports betting licenses will be awarded separately from the rest of the Montana Lottery licenses. All bets would have to be placed inside a retail location which runs under a sports betting operation license. The bets, in addition, will be placed on a certain type of terminals.

 Author: Harrison Young

Harrison Young is an experienced writer, who started his career almost 8 years ago. Prior to joining our team at CasinoGamesPro, he worked as an editor for a small magazine.