Governor Signs Maine Sports Betting Bill

Maine is on track to have legal sports betting this year.

Governor Janet Mills signed LD 585 on Monday, authorizing mobile and retail sports betting in the Pine Tree State.

“This law provides meaningful economic opportunities for the Wabanaki Nations. It incentivizes investment in Tribal communities, and it formalizes a collaboration process on policy that sets the foundation for a stronger relationship in the future,” Mills said in a statement

Under the terms of the bill, passed by the Maine legislature last month, mobile sports betting will be administered by the state’s tribal interests. Limited retail sports betting will be available at racetracks and casinos. 

Next Steps For Maine Sports Betting

Since the legislation involved tribal lands, the Department of Interior must sign off on it. This process should run smoothly, similar to that of Connecticut last year. Mainers should not expect the delays and legal hurdles Floridians have in implementing their sports betting compact. 

Deb Haaland, Secretary of the Interior, is a member of the Laguna Pueblo tribe and the first Native American to serve in a presidential cabinet. She has 90 days to approve the compact. Once she approves it, mobile sports betting should be live within a few months. 

For comparison’s sake, Connecticut Governor Ned Lamont signed the state’s sports betting bill in May, it was approved by DOI in September, and mobile sports betting was live in October. In Florida, Governor Ron DeSantis signed the legislation in May, a compact between the state and Seminole tribe was approved in August, and mobile sports betting was available in the Sunshine State for a few weeks in November before a federal judge struck it down

Details Of Maine Sports Betting

Once the compact is approved, it will be only a matter of time before sports betting is up and running. 

There are up to four available licenses under the terms of the bill. Experts have anticipated nearly 85% of all sports betting in Maine will be done online, consistent with other states. 

The adjusted growth revenue of retail sports betting receipts will be taxed at 10%. Revenue from online wagering will not be taxed since it falls under tribal domain.

The legislation bars bettors from wagering on in-state collegiate teams. 

The bill puts the Maine Gambling Control Unit in charge of rules and regulations for sports wagering. While no launch date for sports betting has been announced, the Gambling Control Unit is next slated to meet later this month. It is expected to begin work immediately on the framework. 

About the Author
Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary M. Shaffrey

Mary Shaffrey is a writer and contributor for Gaming Today with a focus on legislation and political content. Mary is an award-winning journalist who co-authored "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Government." She has spent more than 20 years covering government, both at the state and federal level. As a fan of the Baltimore Orioles and the Providence College Friars she feels cursed. Luckily she is a hockey mom too so her spirits aren't totally shot.

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