Maine sports betting is available online, offering bettors aged 21 and above the chance to engage in wagering on licensed sportsbooks operating within the state. Customers can place their bets online through Caesars Sportsbook and DraftKings.
The Maine Gambling Control Unit announced on Nov. 3, with Executive Director Milton Champion, that sports betting is live in the state. This development follows the completion of a legal review of the proposed rules by the Office of the Attorney General.
Following the review’s conclusion, Champion presented the findings to the Secretary of State’s office. Subsequently, the office officially approved the rules on October 29, thereby initiating the launch of sports betting in Maine. This 18-month endeavor originated with the signing of the sports betting bill (LD 585) by Governor Janet Mills on May 2, 2019.
The board granted licensed operators the green light to start their promotional activities starting November 1. Pre-launch registration was already underway for both sportsbooks, with eager bettors eagerly anticipating the opportunity to become early adopters of these sportsbooks once they were officially launched.
Commenting on the legalization of sports betting in Maine, Champion stated:
“It’s been a long year and a half, with minimal staff but a dedicated one,” he said.
“I couldn’t have done this without them and the support of Lori Manson and Scott Gagnon from Adcare Maine Problem Gambling Services, the Attorney General’s Office and the patience and understanding from the sports wagering industry.”
The Tribes’ Control of Online Sports Betting
While the state stands to benefit from the new sports betting market in terms of revenue generated, the online sports betting sector in Maine will be overseen by tribal entities. Each tribe has the authority to select its own service provider, potentially opening up the opportunity for four licenses to be granted to sports betting operators. This opportunity extends to the Mi’kmaq, Houlton Band of Maliseets, Penobscot Nation, and Passamaquoddy tribe, which currently have two sports betting providers, including Caesars.
DraftKings, as the second operator, recently announced a partnership with the Passamaquoddy Tribe in Maine to launch sports betting on October 31st.
“Building a relationship with the Passamaquoddy Tribe is a fantastic opportunity for DraftKings, as we look to bring customers in the state of Maine safe and legal sports betting. We look forward to our continued collaboration with the Maine Gambling Control Unit as we become the official mobile sports betting provider of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and launch in our industry-leading 25th state,” DraftKings’ chief executive officer Jason Robin said.
“The Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik is incredibly thrilled to have a mobile sports wagering deal with DraftKings. They are the industry leaders, and we are excited to be a part of bringing a first-class mobile sports wagering experience to Maine,” Chief William Nicholas of the Passamaquoddy Tribe added.
Maine also requires that gamblers be at least 21 to participate in sports betting activities. Additionally, wagers cannot be placed on the state’s professional and college teams.
Sports Betting Revenue Foresight in Maine
The revenue outlook for sports betting in Maine is optimistic, with projections by Champion suggesting that the state could collect between $3.8 million and $6 million in annual tax revenue. However, John Holden, a gambling expert and professor at Oklahoma State University, has a contrasting view, suggesting that the state’s actual earnings may not be as generous as Champion’s estimates.
“I think it’ll be less than the gambling industry would like many people to believe,” he said. “Sports betting is a low-margin product. It is not the lottery. The return is a little bit unpredictable,” Holden said.