Lobbyists in Maine are looking for ways to overturn Governor Janet Mills decision to veto a sports betting bill.

  • The bill to legalize sports betting in the state of Maine was on the Governor’s desk for well over six months before she handed down her decision.
  • Maine estimates $5 million annually from the wagering on sporting events should the hobby become legal.
  • Studies suggest residents of the state place at least $623 million annually with the use of offshore sports betting sites.

AUGUSTA, MaineGovernor Janet Mills vetoed ME LD 553 on January 10th that would have made sports betting legal in Maine. Lobbyists and other advocates of the legalization of sports wagering and its market are now hoping to overturn her decision.

The bill was in Mills’ possession for months before she made her final decision to do away with it.

According to the Governor, while the proposal to legalize sports betting in Maine was a good effort by lawmakers, it failed to meet the standards she believes are needed.

One of the main problems with the bill was how lax it was toward anyone that broke the future law. She also questioned the marketing advertisements that could cause an issue to those in danger of getting hurt by sports betting.

“These ads would unduly draw in people who should not be risking money impetuously because of youth or financial or family circumstances,” Mills wrote in a statement.

Under the bill, Maine would have collected 10% in revenue from sports betting at retail locations and 16% for all internet platforms. This could have potentially resulted in a $5 million annual gain for the economy of the state.

The Outlook In Maine

Lobbyists in the state do not agree with the Governor’s position on the bill ME LD 553 and would like to overturn the result. Mills understands this is an option and fully accepts their right to do so.

However, this would become a lengthy process that would end up going well into the 2021 session before anything final is set. By that point, new bills could be formed instead.

In a statement, Mills did not say she is opposed to legal sports betting in the future. However, she believes more information and tweaks to the bill need to be made before anything can be made official.

“Before Maine joins the frenzy of states hungry to attract this market, I believe we need to examine the issue more clearly; better understand the evolving experiences of other states; and thoughtfully determine the best approach for Maine,” wrote Mills. “That approach needs to balance the desire to suppress gambling activities now being conducted illegally and the need to protect youthful gamblers and those least able to absorb losses under a closely regulated scheme.”

She finishes her written statement aiming it toward any legislature that chooses to override her say on the issue. She writes that her administration, along with herself would help them in any way possible to meet the required needs of the state to make legal sports betting a reality for Maine.

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