HELENA, Mont. (AP) — Montanans are one step closer to being able to place legal bets on the outcome of college and professional sports.

The Montana Lottery Commission on Thursday approved rules to implement sports wagering under the brand name Sports Bet Montana. Businesses with alcohol and gambling licenses will be able to apply for sports wagering licenses early next month, as soon as the administrative rules are published by the secretary of state’s office.

The rules allow sports wagering to be offered by businesses within city limits if they have all-beverage liquor licenses and those outside incorporated areas if they have beer and wine licenses. Some people opposed the alcoholic beverage license requirement.

Lottery officials are still working out additional details, including the type of bets that can be placed. Those parameters are expected to be approved at the commission’s next meeting. In-game bets, over-under and parlays are expected to be offered, a spokeswoman said.

The 2019 Legislature passed a bill authorizing sports wagering as long as the bets are made in a licensed establishment either through a terminal or a cellphone app.

It’s not clear when sports wagering will be available in Montana. After businesses receive sports wagering licenses, lottery officials will have to install terminals and train their own staff, retailers and players how to use them.

The lottery’s security director, Bryan Costigan, said they plan to have a customer service number for people to call with questions.

The Montana Lottery already offers fantasy football and fantasy racing, but not direct wagering on the outcome of events. Bets of up to $100 are allowed on fantasy teams, with betting taking place at certain retailers.

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