Maine governor signs sports betting bill

Maine's legislation grants control of online betting to state tribes.
Maine's legislation grants control of online betting to state tribes.

Governor Janet Mills has signed a bill that would allow both retail and online sports betting in the state.

US.- Maine governor Janet Mills has signed a law legalising sports betting in the state and giving the state’s tribes exclusive rights to conduct online wagering. The new law allows Maine’s existing casinos to conduct in-person sports betting. The legislation will take effect in late July.

Each of the four Native American tribes will be able to apply for a single mobile sports betting licence, and the state will receive 10 per cent of adjusted gross sports wagering receipts. 

LD 585 states: “With respect to mobile sports wagering, the Legislature finds that, if conducted by federally recognized Indian tribes in the State, mobile sports wagering will serve as an effective economic development tool for tribal governments and tribal members and will provide economic stimulus to rural areas of the State.” 

Meanwhile, LD585 will allow commercial casinos, The Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway and Oxford Casino Hotel and their respective partners, Penn National/Barstool Sports and Churchill Downs Incorporated, to apply for licences for retail sports betting only.

Tax revenue would be distributed in several ways including to the state’s general fund. Each mobile licence would cost $200,000 and last four years, while the four-year retail sports betting licences would cost $4,000.

Bettors would have to be 21 or older and physically located in Maine to wager. Betting markets could be offered on professional, college, and amateur sports, minus any games involving Maine’s colleges and universities.

The Democratic governor called it the most significant tribal legislation in more than 40 years in Maine. Bills in 2019, 2020, and 2021 failed to become law despite reasonable support within the legislature.

“This law provides meaningful economic opportunities for the Wabanaki Nations. It incentivizes investment in tribal communities, and it formalizes a collaboration process on policy that sets the foundation for a stronger relationship in the future,” the governor said in a statement.

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