Gov Janet Mills

  • Governor Janet Mills signed a bill that legalizes sports betting in Maine.
  • The new law prevents any commercial sportsbooks from launching within the state.

AUGUSTA, Maine – Regulated online and mobile sports betting is officially coming to Maine, as Governor Janet Mills has signed sports gambling bill LD 585 into law.

Sports Betting Finally Coming To Maine

Legal sports betting in Maine has been a long time coming, but with Mills’ signature, the time has finally come.

Janet Mills vetoed a sports betting bill in February of 2020, believing that the bill did not do enough to protect locals from potential problem gambling.

However, with the many focuses of LD 585 it became increasingly clear that the Governor would sign the bill into existence.

LD 585 was put together as a way to overhaul Maine’s state-tribal relationship, which is why the bill will allow the Maliseet, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot tribes the chance to create online and mobile sportsbooks. LD 585 also will also cut taxes for some of the tribal members and businesses.

The projected mobile sports betting launch in Maine would most likely be in 2023. The law will go into effect 90 days after Maine’s legislative session ends, and even then it may take a while for tribes to offer legal online sportsbooks, that compare favorably to internationally sanctioned sports betting options.

LD 585 Tribal Only Status Leaves Out Churchill Downs And Penn National Gaming

The biggest losers of the bill are Churchill Downs and Penn National Gaming, who both already operate brick-and-mortar operations within the state but have been prevented from launching an online or mobile sportsbook in Maine.

The commercial operators had been pushing for LD 1352, which would have allowed commercial sportsbooks the opportunity to launch as well.

LD 1352 likely would not have been successful as Gov. Mills was a big supporter of LD 585 and has shown a willingness to veto sports betting bills she did not support in the past.

There is no official date for when regulated books will go live in Maine.

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