- A meeting to vote on the override of a vetoed sports betting bill in Maine happened on February 6 in the Senate.
- Since the Senate voted in favor of the repeal, the bill will move to a House vote next week.
- The sports betting market would tax retail sportsbooks 10% on revenue and online/mobile platforms would see a rate of 16% which would equal about $5 million in annual revenue streams for Maine.
AUGUSTA, Maine – A bill to legalize sports betting went before the Senate in Maine February 6 for voting to override a previous veto by Governor Janet Mills.
Originally, the vote was supposed to occur on Tuesday, February 4, but a lack of Committee members at the meeting led to the postponement. In order for the bill to move forward, 24 of the 35 members needed to vote in favor of the legalization of wagering on sporting events.
The Bill Got The Votes!
Bill ME LD 553 was vetoed by the Governor in January. Both land-based and internet/mobile platforms would be legalized to run sportsbooks under the bill. An estimated $5 million in annual revenue was expected to be gained by the market.
Immediately after the veto, Mills wrote in her statement to the public about the possibility of an override. The Committee scheduled a meeting to overturn her decision however some key members were no shows that day. Senate Minority Leader Dana Dow was an important vote needed to repeal the decision and while he wasn’t there on February 4, he was in attendance February 6.
Casinos in the state have advocated for it to move forward and it has.
Senate Committee Member Louis Luchini, the bill’s sponsor spoke at the meeting urging the committee to override the veto of MD LD 553.
“Our neighbor New Hampshire brought in $17 million in wagers this past month,” said Luchini.
Committee member David Miramant got up and said, “I was going online to bet this morning. Folks throw money away on the stock market every day.”
Votes came in at 20 for yes and 10 for no of the 30 members in attendance. This overrode the veto on the bill which will now be passed on to the House for voting on Tuesday, February 11.
The second sponsor of the bill, Representative Scott Strom (R-Pittsfield) says that a House vote in favor of sports betting legalization is highly possible.
The House is predominately made up of Democrats (89) but the inclusion of tribal businesses within the bill has swayed the Democratic party in the House to a more favorable position on the matter. The remainder of the House is made up of 56 Republicans and six Independents.
If the House votes to override the Governor’s decision as the Senate has, legal sports betting would become a reality for the state of Maine. The session ends April 15. But if the matter gets cleared up at the next meeting, the Pine Tree State could see the legal wagering on sports matchups in 2020.
Christina has been writing for as long as she can remember and does dedicated research on the newly regulated sports betting market. She comes from a family of sports lovers that engage in friendly bets from time to time. During the winter months, you can find Christina baking cookies and beating the entire staff at Mario Kart…the N64 version of course.