Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) competitions are understood and interpreted by U.S. Federal Laws not to be games of chance, and conversely, considered to games of skill-and-knowledge.
Subsequently, at the Federal level of government, DFS competitions ARE NOT considered to be gambling. Each state has been empowered by Federal lawmakers to decide on the legality of DFS competitions.
As mentioned above, Montana is one of the few states to go against the grain of the Federal ruling and prohibit the usual form of DFS competition.
Montana has its own form of Fantasy Football and Fantasy NASCAR competitions that are administered by the state’s lottery
As for the nationwide DFS games, the Montana State Legislature did make a failed attempt to pass Senate Bill 25 in late 2016 with the following compromises;
- The ‘buy in’ is no more than $35.
- The games are played for minimal, non-monetary prizes such as t-shirts.
- They last for an entire season (In other words, no Daily fantasy contests)
That ‘watered-down’ attempt to pass Fantasy Sports failed in the Big Sky State and for the meantime, Montana operates its own unique Fantasy Sports competition run through the State Lottery.
The Montana Fantasy Sports Model is slightly-less-ambitious in its scope and number of sports on offer. Owned-and-operated by the Montana State Lottery, the only Fantasy Sports on offer in the state are NFL and NASCAR. Fantasy Sports Players pay a small entry fee at their local lottery and choose up to five NFL players or five NASCAR drivers (identified by their car numbers) for their teams. After you build your team, you may choose an amount to wager – $5, $10, $20, $50, or $100. The amount you wager will then determine the number of shares of prize money you will receive if you win.
Just like the nationwide Fantasy Sports competitions, during the real-world events, your team in Montana Fantasy Football or NASCAR accumulates points based on the individual performances of the athletes and drivers across the weeks NFL games or NASCAR races.
At the end of the week’s fixtures or races, the team that has the most points wins their corresponding league for the week and prizes are awarded from the entry pool money.
Of course, with only a small pool of players in Montana paying entry fees, the amounts of prize money on offer is much less than the big national DFS competitions. On the other hand, with a smaller pool of players, if you have the skill, there is arguably more potential to win more often in the Montana State Lottery’s Fantasy Sports NFL and NASCAR competitions.