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Silver Wolf Casino Becomes First In Montana To Get Retail Sportsbook Approval

Montana’s Silver Wolf Casino, owned by the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes, will be the first casino in the state to have retail sports betting.

Lone Wolf In Snow
J.R. Duren Avatar
2 mins read

Montana’s Silver Wolf Casino will be the first casino in the state to offer retail (in-person) sports betting. This is a welcomed development for the property’s owners: the Assiniboine and Sioux Tribes of the Fort Peck Indian Reservation.

The approval, which had to come at the federal level, appeared in a series of approvals from the Department of the Interior in the past two weeks. Lone Wolf is the first tribal casino to win approval for a retail sportsbook.

Silver Wolf Casino’s future sportsbook will not be lottery-operated

In big sports betting markets like New Jersey and New York, news of a casino getting approval for a retail sportsbook would not be a big deal.

In markets big and small, it’s online betting that makes up the majority of wagers placed.

However, Montana isn’t your typical sports betting market. The lottery oversees sports betting and only provides one online sportsbook (New Hampshire does this, too).

Bettors are only allowed to place a wager at a licensed lottery retailer. While sounding restrictive, allows users to gamble in gas stations, supermarkets, bars, restaurants, and taverns, all of which have lottery retailers.

Because the state’s sports betting market is restricted to in-person betting, Silver Wolf’s new-found ability to offer a sportsbook gives it a key advantage over lottery retailers.

The casino can market its sportsbook capability to existing customers and, in theory, convert part of its casino customer base into a sports betting customer base.

How much of an impact will sports betting have on Montana’s Silver Wolf?

Some, but most likely not much. Montana’s sports betting market is extremely diluted because there are so many locations that offer sports betting. The Montana lottery website lists hundreds of locations.

The state’s overall handle (total amount gambled) is incredibly small—$1.1 million was bet from the last week of January to the first week of February. New York sportsbooks could generate that amount in seconds.

This means that hundreds of locations are fighting for a very small amount of dollars.

That being said, Lone Wolf likely relishes the opportunity to draw in more customers. The property’s sportsbook will offer a betting experience that pairs food, drink, and TVs with sports wagering, whereas many lottery locations offer gas and snacks.

J.R. Duren Avatar
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J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

View all posts by J.R. Duren

J.R. Duren has covered the gambling beats for more than a dozen states for Catena Media since 2015. His past reporting experience includes two years at the Villages Daily Sun, and he is a first-place winner at the Florida Press Club Excellence in Journalism Contest.

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