• Maine sports betting is set to become the nation’s first, “free-market” model to sports betting.
  • Retail sportsbooks in Maine will have to pay 10% of sports betting revenue to the state while online sports wagering sites will have to pay 16%.
  • The Maine Department of Public Safety’s Gambling Control Unit will be in charge of issuing sports betting licenses in the state.

AUGUSTA, Maine – Sports bettors in the New England area may have another state they can travel to in order to place bets on the Patriots this upcoming season.

Maine sports betting bill ME L.D. 553 passed through the state legislature earlier this week and now only needs the approval from Governor Janet T. Mills to become law. She will have 10 days to either sign off on the bill, let it pass without a signature, or possibly veto the measure.

The bill will allow for both retail sportsbooks inside the state’s gaming facilities as well as through state-wide online sports wagering apps provided by online sports betting providers.

What’s Inside ME L.D. 553?

The sports betting bill in Maine takes a unique approach as to who can provide sports wagering.

Just about every state that has legalized online sports betting has required that online providers tether to a physical establishment in order to serve state-wide betting apps. Maine, on the other hand, uses a “free market” model and allows online sports betting providers to operate independently.

“To me, it’s strange to write a law that would require a new business to come into Maine only if they tether their license to an existing business,” Said Luchini during a brief floor debate on Tuesday.

“We don’t require Amazon to tether to existing grocery stores and we don’t require Airbnb to tether to hotels.”

State officials argued that by giving online providers this freedom they would have an unfair advantage over retail locations and would not provide as much to the state given the fact that they don’t have to pay property taxes.

In order to counteract that point, L.D. 553 set two different tax rates for sports wagering revenue.

We did want to help out the brick and mortar establishments that are here in Maine, and have employees in the state,” said Rep. Scott Strom, co-sponsor of L.D. 553.

“The casinos and the off-track betting establishments, they have a tax rate of 10 percent, and the mobile devices: DraftKings, FanDuel, any mobile device that wants to participate will have a 16 percent tax rate.”

There was also no cap set on the number of online sports betting apps that can operate in the state.

Sports betting in Maine will only be available to those who are 21 years old or older. Betting on professional and collegiate sports will be available. However, betting on collegiate teams that are based in Maine will not be allowed.

How Soon Can Sports Betting In Maine Launch?

The deadline for Governor Mills to act on the bill will be around July 3. If she does not act on it then, the bill will become law without her signature.

After that date, the law would officially go into effect after 90 days, which means the Maine Gambling Control Unit could start issuing licenses in September. This would be right at the start of the 2019 football season.

Given the fact that the licensing fee in Maine is only 2,000 dollars, gaming venues and online sports wagering providers could easily meet that requirement and get started right away.

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