HELENA -- On March 10, the Montana Lottery launched Sports Bet Montana, the Treasure State's new sports wagering service. A week later, the COVID-19 pandemic has thrown a wrench into the plans, canceling major sporting events across the country for the time being.
Though there are wagers to be made for the future, whether it be on the a potential World Series or Stanley Cup winner, most bettors are currently unable to do that. With bars, restaurants and casinos closing across the state, bettors are unable to get into a location to either place a bet on their mobile device or at a kiosk.
Jennifer McKee, communications manager for the Montana Lottery, said despite the obstacles thrown in Sports Bet Montana's way, the organization is more worried about the safety of communities in Montana.
"We're all doing it and going through it together as a good of the community," said McKee. "We support all those businesses who have needed to close their doors, all of those regular folks, their employees, who haven't been able to go to work, and everyone in the state who is making very hard decisions for the safety of their fellow Montanans. We really, really support that."
Though closures for locations with a Sports Bet Montana kiosk are set to expire in the coming weeks, many major sports organizations will continue their respite well into the spring of 2020.