Maine Governor Janet Mills must decide by the end of the week whether to legalize sports betting or veto the bill.

  • The legislative session for Maine is set to start on Wednesday.
  • The Governor must make a decision about legalizing sports betting this week.
  • If Maine legalizes, they will be the first state to do so in 2020.

AUGUSTA, MaineGovernor Janet Mills must make a decision about legalizing sports betting in Maine by the end of the week.

What Is In The Bill

The only step that needs to be taken for Maine sports betting to be legalized is Governor Mills’ signature. This is because a sports wagering bill was already passed back in June of 2019.

State lawmakers passed ME LD 553. Sports betting in Maine will have both brick-and-mortar sportsbooks and online sportsbooks. One key thing to note is that online sportsbooks are going to operate differently than most states.

A large majority of states require that online sportsbooks must be tethered to a retail location in the state. Lawmakers ultimately decided that online sportsbooks do not need to be tethered to a retail sportsbook in Maine. To help promote competition, online sportsbooks will receive a higher tax rate than brick-and-mortar sportsbooks. Retail sportsbooks will have a 10 percent tax rate while online and mobile sportsbooks have a 16 percent tax rate.

Waiting On The Governor

Governor Mills seems to have doubts about legalizing the activity. At the end of July 2019, the Governor did not end up signing the bill. She did not veto the bill either. The legislative session ended with the Governor taking no action.

This put Maine sports betting in a unique situation. The Maine constitution has a special clause for no action being taken on a bill. The lack of action at the end of the legislative session meant that the bill would be pushed into the next session. The Governor would then have three days to decide what to do with ME LD 553.

If Governor Mills signs the bill or takes no action after three days, sports betting will be legalized in Maine. But if she vetoes the bill, the entire process must start over.

At the moment, it is unclear whether or not the Governor will veto the bill. She decided to take no action on the bill and it could mean that she has her doubts about Maine sports betting. Either way, Maine bettors will have their answer soon. According to the Maine legislature’s site, the House and Senate sessions begin on Wednesday. The Governor should have until the end of the week to make her decision.

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