Maine Legislature.

  • Senate Bill 1352 is the first sports betting proposal that will be seen by the Maine State Legislature in 2021.
  • The proposal is almost exactly the same as ME LD 553 that was passed by lawmakers in 2019 but was not approved by Governor Janet Mills to become law.
  • The Maine State Legislature adjourns for 2021 on June 16.

AUGUSTA, Maine – A sports betting bill in Maine was filed on Monday and referred to the Senate Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs for its first hearing.

Gambling on sporting events in Maine had legislation pass in 2019 by both chambers of the Maine State Legislature, only to have the measure be vetoed by Governor Janet Mills in the end.

Lawmakers tried to overturn the decision but the majority vote ended up siding with Governor Mills’ decision.

The Sports Betting Bill For 2021

Senate Bill 1352 is the sports betting bill introduced in 2021 in Maine and is sponsored by Senator Louis Luchini. Sports betting through this proposal would have both land-based and mobile sportsbooks become regulated in the state. It already has the support of the Department of Public Safety Gambling Control Unit for when it comes time to license operators.

Mobile sportsbooks would see a tax rate on all GGR of 16% while brick-and-mortar venues have a rate of 10% on all revenue from the handle they bring in. Eligible businesses in Maine that would be able to apply to run a sports wagering business are OTB establishments, tribal gaming facilities, commercially-owned racetracks, and casinos in the state.

Only one license will be given to any operator approved after paying a licensing fee of $20,000 with their application.

Professional sporting events will be open for betting under this proposal but collegiate wagers for any schools in Maine are prohibited. All other college sports from institutions outside of Maine would be open for betting lines.

The Odds For Passage

ME LD 553 was the bill that passed in 2019 that Governor Janet Mills vetoed at the start of 2020. The proposal currently open in 2021 is very similar, even down to the same tax rates. With that being said, the Maine State Legislature would likely pass the measure a second time around but will the Governor sign off on it this year?

The reasoning behind not allowing passage last year for Maine to gain a regulated sports betting market given by Mills was that not enough was known about the industry to just jump right in as other states in the nation were doing. With ME SB 1352 being almost the exact same proposal, both Mills and the legislature are acquainted with it so that it has the ability to move quickly through the various committees for passage.

But has the Governor received enough research in 2020 to sign off on this proposal should it pass in chambers? The Maine State Legislature adjourns for its 2021 session on June 16.

This new sports betting bill for a regulated industry in Maine has a little over two months to pass and get to Governor Mills desk for what proponents are hoping to be an approval this year rather than just a case of déjà vu.

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