Mainers will know by the All-Star Game if sports betting will be legal in their state.
In a rushed session last week, filled with late-night drama and vote changes, lawmakers in Augusta passed Legislative Document 1352. Under the rules of the state, however, the bill must pass both chambers twice.
The bill is expected to be brought up in both chambers by the end of the month. Assuming it passes again, Governor Janet Mills would have 10 days — excluding Sundays — to sign or veto the measure.
The legislation ties sports betting apps, known as skins, to existing facilities in the state. This means sportsbooks such as FanDuel or DraftKings would have to first partner with one of the two casinos in the state — the Oxford Casino or the Hollywood Casino in Bangor — or one of the various OTB or racetracks.
Most supporters hope this tethering section of the bill would satisfy concerns Mills had about sports betting in the state. She vetoed similar legislation in 2020 that did not require tethering to an existing facility.
“I hope we can all agree that if we’re going to open up the state to accept wagers on sports, we need to do it in the most responsible way possible and the one that protects Maine people and Maine businesses as much as possible,” said state Sen. Joe Baldacci, according to the Bangor Daily News.
What’s Next For Maine Sports Betting
If approved, Maine would join other New England states in legalizing sports betting.
New Hampshire and Rhode Island both approved sports betting in 2019. Connecticut passed legislation this year and could see sports betting this fall. Massachusetts, once considered a long-shot for sports betting, has several pieces of legislation under consideration.
The bill in Maine places a 10% tax on profits to brick-and-mortar facilities and a 16% tax on online application profits.
The legislation allows for sports wagers on all professional and collegiate athletics, as well as international events. It is illegal to wager on events where the majority of participants are under the age of 18. The legal age for all bettors is 21.