- Legalizing sports betting in Maine was voted on by the House on February 11.
- Millions of dollars in potential revenue could come from the sports gambling market in the state.
- The bill was originally vetoed and then overridden by the Senate, bringing it to the House.
AUGUSTA, Maine – The House of Maine held a hearing on February 11 to vote on the topic of betting on sporting events.
On February 6, the Senate overturned the vetoed bill that would make gambling on sports legal. From there, the House needed to back the bill in order to bring the pastime to the Pine Tree State.
ME LD553 went before the House on Tuesday. Representative Scott Strom (R-Pittsfield) stood in front of the Committee to discuss why the House should vote in favor of the bill he has cosponsored.
“We are asking for a 10% tax on revenue from brick and mortar establishments and 16% from online platforms,” said Strom. “Personally, I know people from Maine that have crossed the border to New Hampshire to place wagers on the Super Bowl. Horse betting in Maine is already allowed, so I see no reason why sports betting cannot be allowed.”
Representative John Schneck (D-Bangor) spoke out toward legalizing sports betting in Maine.
“The American Gaming Association states that $150 billion is bet on sports and 97% of that is done illegally. This bill would help to regulate what’s already happening,” said Schneck. “Regulating sports wagering is the right thing to do.”
Representative Richard Bradstreet (R-Vassalboro) was on the other side of legal gambling on sports matchups. He was opposed to the idea and was planning to vote to sustain Governor Janet Mills’ veto.
“I’m here to sustain the Governor’s veto to prevent others from developing a gambling addiction. It’s the same as an opioid crisis and people must speak out,” said Bradstreet.
The final speaker before the vote was Representative Jeffrey Evangelos (I-Friendship) and he spoke in favor of having sports betting in the state. Evangelos was the perfect speaker to end with as he brought up some great points.
“We can’t legislate fun and people have fun doing this whether we legalize it or not. We don’t go to the tracks on the weekend to watch the beautiful horses, we go to bet. People bet on Wall Street every day and are losing their shirt, that can be an addiction too,” said Evangelos.
When it came time to vote, the House needed two-thirds in favor of legalizing sports betting. However, 85 Committee members voted against it, sustaining the Governor’s veto of the bill. From the looks of it, Legal sports betting in Maine won’t come in 2020.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.