Maine Online Casino Bill Suffers Narrow Defeat in State House

Maine gamblers’ hopes were dashed yesterday after LD1777, a bill to legalize online casinos, suffered a narrow defeat in the state’s House of Representatives. The bill would have expanded Maine’s existing sports betting framework, which gives exclusive operational rights to the state’s Wabanaki tribes. It would have done the same for online casinos.

The bill was a close call in the Maine House of Representatives. It lost by three votes, suffering defeat 74-71. The partisan split was fairly stark. Only one Republican—Roger Albert—crossed the aisle to vote in favor of legalization. Nine democrats hopped over to the opposition, ultimately sealing the bill’s fate.

Related Pages: Maine Sports Betting | Legal Sports Betting States | Does Online Gambling Cannibalize Land-Based Casinos?

Cases From Both Sides

Maine online casinos have remained a hot-button issue in the state. Proponents praised the potential revenue the legislation could generate. Others posited that giving tribes exclusivity could “help address long-standing inequities against the tribes, which are treated more like municipalities because of a pair of agreements with the state that settled the tribes’ land claims,” as reported by the Portland Press Herald.

In the past, Maine’s casino legislation has excluded tribes concerning new casino operations, and the bill’s sponsor—Representative Laura Supica—said the failed bill would have helped rectify those mistakes. But it seems the main sticking point among voting representatives was how the bill strongarmed existing commercial casino operators out of the industry.

In addition, opponents of the bill wanted a higher tax rate more equivalent to those imposed on in-state casinos.


About the Author
Cole Rush

Cole Rush

Writer and Contributor
Cole Rush is an industry writer and contributor at Gaming Today. He is a Chicago-based writer in the gambling and media spaces. His work has been showcased in various gaming industry magazines and online columns. Rush also covers pop culture and books for Reactor Mag (formerly and, a sci-fi and fantasy book review site. He has more than eight years of experience writing about gambling and entertainment.

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