Maine Capitol

  • LD1352, a bill to regulate retail and mobile sportsbooks in Maine, is the only bill left in the 2021 legislative session.
  • The Maine State Legislature adjourns for 2021 on June 16.
  • It is being said that the bill will find passage within the next two weeks.

AUGUSTA, Maine – The Maine State Legislature has settled on one sports betting bill for the 2021 session but it does not include wagering on state colleges. There were a total of four pieces of legislation regarding sports gaming in Maine but three were nixed on Friday.

LD1352, sponsored by Senator Louis Luchini, is the bill that the legislature will move forward with for hearings this year. There are two problems with this measure; it prohibits Maine college sports from betting which is a huge market for the industry seeing as there are no professional teams in the state and lawmakers want to include the aspect of tethering to the bill that is not yet part of the current draft.

What’s In The Chosen Legislation?

Maine sports betting is something that lawmakers want to see happen. However, this session has only two weeks left to get it done as the legislature adjourns for the year on June 16.

The bill as written includes both land-based and mobile sportsbooks. A tax on all GGR from retail venues is set at 10%, with mobile operators seeing a tax rate of 16% on revenue. There is a $100,000 application fee for those interested in a license that will need to be renewed every two years for the same amount of money.

Prop bets may be excluded, although the language is unclear. No college sports betting for in-state schools will be allowed. There is also the language of advertising protections that will help toward not gearing sports betting to attract minors to want to engage in the pastime.

There are a total of eight locations for gaming in Maine; four OTBs, two casinos, and two race tracks. These would be the locations for land-based sportsbooks. However, an amendment request for tethering to these businesses is being asked of the bill when it comes to mobile platforms. The present draft does not require mobile sportsbooks to be tethered to a retail sportsbook. But lawmakers would like this to become a stipulation put into the measure.

To sweeten the deal for such an amendment, each facility could have up to three digital sports wagering applications apiece, for a total of 24 mobile sportsbooks available statewide. Two years after the launch of the market, there will be a limitless number of mobile sports wagering operators that could join the regulated sports betting industry in Maine as the cap of 24 would be withdrawn at that time

What Happens Next For Maine?

The outlook for LD1352 looks good as it checks all the boxes. Governor Janet Mills’ main concern was advertising to minors which has been addressed. Tethering can be easily written into the measure and has reached the general consensus that it will be. With neighboring states regulating sports gaming, Maine would rather have the money spent by residential sports bettors to stay within the state.

The Maine State Legislature has until June 16 to decide the fate of its sports betting industry in 2021. And while college fans will still be wagering on the games elsewhere which will be money lost, opening a market this year would still be a win for the state and its many sports wagering advocates.

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