The Maine State Legislature

  • The Maine Legislature held a special session on Thursday that went well into Friday to pass a sports betting bill in both chambers.
  • LD 1352 would regulate mobile and retail sportsbooks in the state, allowing for 24 mobile operators.
  • Governor Janet Mills has four days to approve or veto the bill once it arrives on her desk.

AUGUSTA, Maine – The Maine State Legislature went past their regular 2021 session schedule to get a sports betting bill passed in both the House and the Senate in the early hours of Friday.

The special hearing went well beyond midnight to get each chamber to vote on the measure for passage.

LD 1352 is now on its way to Governor Janet Mills’ desk for her signature. The Governor has as little as four days after receiving the bill to either pass or veto it. If she chooses to not act at all, it will pass due to the urgency the measure is under.

In January of 2020, Mills vetoed a sports gaming bill but insiders are hoping the same thing does not occur this year.

Maine Regulated Sports Betting

Maine sports betting under LD 1352 would open up mobile sports betting applications as long as they are tethered to gaming establishments in the state. Prop betting on individual athletes is excluded from the bill, prohibiting these wagers from being seen at state-affiliated sportsbooks.

It is expected that Mills will sign the legislation for regulated sports wagering in the state this time around as it excluded online sports betting from being businesses that do not need land-based ties. That was the Governor’s main issue when vetoing the last bill for sports gaming that appeared before her in 2020.

There are eight brick-and-mortar locations in the state and each is entitled to three mobile sportsbooks. This would give Maine 24 online sports betting platforms to choose from. Advertising protections would be implemented as to not gear the market to minors.

A $100,000 application fee would be required by each sportsbook and a renewal fee of the same amount would be needed every two years.

A 10% tax rate on handle will be seen for the four OTBS, two casinos, and two race tracks statewide. Online operators will see a rate of 16% on all GGR.

Lawmakers passed the bill in a special session as part of a way to help in COVID-19 relief in the state. The added revenue stream that a sports betting market could bring in could help the economy immensely as sports bettors wager every day through other outlets but an industry in Maine would keep the money in the state.

What Happens Now?

Governor Janet Mills has days to act on LD 1352. Typically, Governors are allotted 10 days after receiving a bill to decide on it but due to the special session that was required, Mills may have as little as four days to agree whether to veto or sign the bill into law.

No action on her part would automatically turn the bill into law by default because of the special circumstances it was passed under. Mainers should know soon enough if they’ll be seeing a local sports wagering market go live in their state by 2022.

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