HELENA — When sports bettors in Montana opened up their Sports Bet Montana app or checked out a terminal last week, they might have seen a plethora of new sports like badminton, handball, and many other Olympic events.
Jennifer McKee, communications manager for the Montana Lottery and Sports Bet Montana, said the process of bringing in betting line on the Olympic games has been in the works for months as they waited to ensure the Games would truly happen, but aside from that, the process was relatively simple.
"There's a process to it, but it's actually not that complex. Our trading desk does global lines on everything and they were going to do global lines on the Olympics for us and everyone else who uses that trading desk, which is everyone who has an Intralot contract. They specialize in sports betting. So for them, it was really just dialing up what they were already doing," said McKee.
Sports Bet Montana is offering betting lines on Olympic events like table tennis and handball, which are not exactly high-profile sports, but McKee noted they’re offering lines on these sports because they’re trying to reach a broad spectrum of bettors.
"We want to offer as much as we possibly can. So we know we're going to be offering things that people don't really have a lot of interest in, but you never know what will catch somebody's eye. You know, you never know what somebody out there really cares about," said McKee.
Since Sports Bet Montana terminals and app were introduced, nearly $45 million has been wagered over more than 500 days, including times where terminals were unavailable to the public during the Coronavirus Pandemic. In that span, over $15 million has been wagered on basketball and nearly $9 million was wagered on football.
|Sports Bet Montana Statistics|
|From launch (3/9/20): $44.6 million||7/13-19/21: $558,336|
|Basketball||$15.6 Million (34%)||Baseball||$279,168 (50%)|
|Football||$8.92 Million (20%)||Basketball||$83,750.40 (15%)|
|Baseball||$8.03 Million (18%)||Soccer||$78,167.04 (14%)|
|Soccer||$6.69 Million (15%)||Golf||$55,833.60 (10%)|
|Hockey||$2.23 Million (5%)||Tennis||$33,500.16 (6%)|
|Tennis||$1.34 Million (3%)||MMA||$22,333.44 (4%)|
|MMA||$892,000 (2%)||Special Bets||$11,166.72 (2%)|
|Golf||$892,000 (2%)||NASCAR||$5,583.36 (1%)|
Since the introduction of Olympic Games betting lines, over $54,000 has been wagered on a number of sports with soccer leading the way with over
half of the total bets placed. In distant second and third places, in terms of dollars wagered, basketball brought in 27% and tennis brought in 8%, with 68% of tennis bets being placed while the match was taking place. The average bet placed when betting on the Olympic Games was $43.40.
|Olympic Games bets on Sports Bet Montana (Total Handle: $54,250)|
|Track and Field||$2,170|
|Total Bets: 1,250||Average bet placed: $43.40|
With the success that Sports Bet Montana is seeing while offering Olympic betting lines, McKee noted all the work they put into making it work has paid off.
"It really has kind of rolled out smoothly and I guess that's the thing we've learned is that it is possible to stand up betting around the biggest sports event, you know, in the world."
The Olympic Games wrap up on August 8.