Maine Sports Betting

  • The Maine Senate voted LD 585 into law with a 23-11 vote. This bill gives sole authority to online sports betting to the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, and Maliseet tribes.
  • LD 585 is backed by Governor Janet Mills and is awaiting her signature to officially regulate the market.

AUGUSTA, Maine – Sports betting in Maine has had a long journey but it seems that the fight is soon to be over. The Maine Senate passed LD 585 t a 23-11 vote, regulating online sports betting in the Pine Tree State.

This bill is supported by Governor Janet Mills who has famously shot down the idea of sports betting in Maine for years. With this passing, the bill’s final hurdle will be a signature from Gov. Mills.

Maine Sports Betting Incoming

This is not the first time a Maine sports betting bill passed in both the House and Senate.

Famously, in 2020 Gov. Mills vetoed the sports betting bill just days before the deadline that would have automatically passed the regulated market into law.

At the time, Mills did not support legal sports betting as she did not feel as if the bill properly protected the residents from problem gambling.

“The bill prohibits gambling on sports by people under the age of 21, and I am aware mobile sports gambling operators offer sophisticated mechanisms to detect problem gamblers and gambling by young people,” wrote Mills in her original letter addressing her decision to veto the bill. “But it is difficult to envision a system which does this and at the same time would employ broad based marketing and aggressive advertising in social media and on television, including ads during the very games on which live bets are being placed.”

Since the veto, lawmakers have tried and failed to push sports betting in Maine every year. What separates LD 585 from the other failed bills, however, is that this is not solely a sports betting bill.

LD 585 Wins Over Mills

LD 585’s main purpose is to overhaul the state-tribal relationship in its entirety.

The bill grants the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, and Maliseet tribes more freedoms similar to other federally recognized tribes, including the gaming market.

Under the bill, the tribes have sole authority over mobile and online sports betting in Maine. Local casinos and race tracks will be allowed to offer land-based sports betting but no mobile.

“This policy decision is fair and equitable,” said Anne Carney, State Senator.

It is estimated that at least 85% of the total market will be dominated by mobile betting so this is a major win for the local tribes.

Governor Mills has 10 days to either sign or veto the bill otherwise it automatically passes into law. With her being in support of LD 585, however, it is very likely that sports betting will be regulated in Maine within the next few days.

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