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Maine State Legislature

  • Maine sports betting bill LD 1352 will not see further consideration until January.
  • The legislation passed in both chambers but needed one final step in the legislative process that should be seen in 2022.
  • Insiders believe that Governor Janet Mills will veto the sportsbook legislation in 2022 when it comes back to life.

AUGUSTA, Maine – For the second time around, Maine sports betting legislation has been put on hold until January.

In 2019, a similar situation happened where Governor Janet Mills didn’t make a decision until 2020 for a sports gaming bill from 2019 that in the end, she would veto.

And now, LD 1352, which would have regulated sports wagering in Maine will not be considered again until January 2022. Many lawmakers felt that 2020 would be the year of local sportsbooks being seen by Mainers but unfortunately, all of the time and energy put into the bill was done so without the positive ending that everyone had hoped for.

What Will Happen With Maine Sports Gaming?

One of the biggest reasons that regulated sports betting in Maine was vetoed in 2020 was because it did not require online sportsbooks to be tethered to land-based locations. However, in an effort to rectify that misstep, LD 1352 applied the tethering clause that Governor Mills previously sought in a sports wagering bill.

Mobile sportsbooks would not be allowed to operate as a standalone business and would need to be tied to sports gaming venues in the state. Yet, here’s another year where Maine sports betting faithfuls will not have access to a state-affiliated sports gaming market, despite the large number of residents that gamble on sporting events daily.

Rumors are swirling that Mills will again veto sports betting legislation in January, which does not sound like much of a stretch given her history. As the Maine State Legislature is in recess for the summer, LD 1352 will sit until January on the Special Appropriations Table, quite literally being tabled until 2022. While it’s likely another veto of a sports wagering industry is in store for the Pine Tree State next year, there’s still a chance for passage, no matter how much of a longshot from an odds point of view it seems to be right now.

What’s Next For Sports Betting Mainers?

LD 1352 would’ve given a Maine sports betting market eight brick-and-mortar venues and 24 mobile sportsbooks with three skins being given to each retail location.

A 16% tax was set for all mobile application GGR with a 10% tax for land-based sportsbooks. A $100,000 application fee was required by all applicants as well as that same amount of money due every two years as a license renewal fee.

This current sports gaming legislation had one more step to go before Mills could decide on it. Residents will need to wait until January to see those final phases take place and hopefully this time around, Mills will not have sports bettors wait around just to be deflated by another vetoed shot at Maine sportsbooks becoming a reality in 2022.

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