Online horse race bets have been approved in Maine

  • Maine has now authorized online horse betting for local, national, and international races.
  • Bets will be hosted via a website called HollywoodRaces.com
  • Maine’s racing season was delayed by COVID-19 but could resume without spectators soon, as many other states have done.
  • The legalization of horse betting is an interesting olive branch for bettors after Governor Janet Mills vetoed a sports betting bill in January.

AUGUSTA, Maine – The Maine Gaming Control Board has approved online betting for horse races. This option will be available statewide.

Bettors will be able to register an online betting account with HollywoodRaces.com and will be able to wager on races anywhere in the world.

Betting options include the newly rescheduled Triple Crown races, the Dubai World Cup, and more.

This website will also offer legal horse betting on local races at Bangor Raceway, which hosts a full schedule of races between May and November every year.

This year’s racing schedule has been suspended indefinitely because of the COVID-19 crisis, but other states have already begun to reopen their horse racetracks and have seen a surge in betting action as a result.

Maine could be the next state to reopen its raceway.

The move to legalize online horse betting could indicate that Maine is finally moving towards full sports betting.

Is Sports Betting On The Horizon?

Despite its low population of around 1.3 million people, Maine has the potential to run a very successful sports betting industry because of its proximity to other legal sports betting states like New Hampshire, New Jersey and Delaware.

Maine was poised to legalize sports betting in late 2019, but after a bill was passed by the state legislature it was promptly vetoed by Governor Janet Mills in January 2020. The timeline for legal sports betting in Maine is now unclear.

The legalization of online pari-mutuel wagering is an olive branch and could suggest that the state is searching for new ways to maximize revenues in the wake of COVID-19.

The comparably small state of Delaware has already proven that legal sports betting can generate several million dollars a year in tax revenue. With a likely budget crisis looming, this money could prove invaluable to recovery efforts.

Financial Impact Of Legal Sports And Horse Betting

Using a LegalSportsBetting estimation method, here are Maine’s projected annual revenue totals for fully legal sports betting:

  • Handle: $195.8 million
  • Revenue: $13.5 million
  • Taxes: $1.8 million

The tax figure could also increase substantially if Maine adopted higher sports betting tax rates a la Delaware, Rhode Island and Pennsylvania.

While these aren’t earth-shattering totals compared to multi-billion-dollar sports betting states like Nevada, it is still a significant amount of money.

Hopefully, the legalization of horse betting is an indication of Maine’s continued progress toward fully legal sports betting.

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