HELENA — Montana lawmakers have failed to override a Gov. Steve Bullock veto of a bill that would have allowed private companies to run sports betting operations after the governor favored a separate measure using the state lottery.
Results of the veto override poll of 150 state legislators released Tuesday shows votes for overriding the Democratic governor's veto fell well short of the required two-thirds of the House and Senate.
The measure passed both chambers during the legislative session with broad support by both parties. Sponsors of the gambling bills had advocated for both private and lottery systems, saying the competition would be good.
But 24 Democratic senators and representatives who voted yes for the bill voted against the override. Twenty-eight additional Democrats who voted for the bill during the session did not vote in the poll.
Montana became the first state in 2019 to legalize sports gambling when Bullock signed a bill in early May that allowed the state lottery to oversee a system of wagering through kiosks and mobile applications.