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Montana becomes latest US state to introduce legalized sports betting

Montana is the first US state to legalize sports betting in 2019 after Governor Steve Bullock signed a bill on Friday that allows the Montana State Lottery to oversee wagering on sports through kiosks and mobile devices.

The law became effective immediately and the goal is to have a system up and running by the start of the American football season in September.

Montana officials have estimated sports betting will generate $3.7m (€3.3m) for the state during the first year and $5.4m per year by 2023. Mobile betting will only be allowed in licensed bars and restaurants rather than anywhere in the state border.

Montana is the ninth US state to offer legal wagering, joining Nevada, New Jersey, Rhode Island, West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Mississippi and New Mexico. Tennessee, Iowa and Indiana are expected to be the next states to authorize sports betting.

Meanwhile, the NCAA has rescinded its policy prohibiting championship events from being held in states that have legalized sports gambling. The move clears the way for cities like Las Vegas to host national title games, including the College Football Playoff, Final Four and Frozen Four.