Governor of Maine Signs Sports Betting into Law

Governor of Maine Signs Sports Betting into Law

Back in early 2020, sports betting seemed to be a long shot as Gov. Janet Mills vetoed a bill that would have brought launched a legalized sports wagering market. The situation has completely changed in the past two years.

Who Controls the Market Moving Forward?

On Monday, Gov. Mills signed LD 585 into law that legalizes sports betting. Under the bill, bettors will be able to place wagers on mobile devices or retail sportsbook locations in the Pine Tree State.

In-person betting would be conducted at casinos, race tracks, and other gaming facilities across the state. Meanwhile, Maine’s tribes would have exclusive rights to operate online sports betting. These gambling facilities will be subject to receive up to 10 licenses.

There was another sports betting bill that was pushed last year that was approved by both chambers. The proposition would have given mobile sports betting access to both the tribes and commercial casinos, but these segments were left out of this bill.

The Wabanaki Confederacy will use the potential revenue generated to fund education, health care, and other infrastructure projects. The tribes will be able to extend partnerships with reputable sportsbook operators such as BetMGM, DraftKings, FanDuel, and others that are looking to gain market access.

Mills stated in a press release;

“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.”

Breaking Down Maine Sports Betting Market Future

At the moment, there are no projections as to when the market will launch, but this is a huge leap, especially in the New England region. Maine has now joined three other states in the region to have a legalized sports betting market and is the first in 2022. Massachusetts is facing its own set of challenges in legalizing sports betting.

Other jurisdictions across the industry have high tax rates based on revenue for the bookmakers that want to conduct business. However, sports betting revenue will be subject to 10 percent in Maine. Under the bill, the tax rate will not be based on tax revenue.

Operators will be allowed to deduct both federal excise tax payments and promotional expenses. The four tribes, which include the Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, Micmac, and Maliseet will be eligible to receive a single mobile sports betting license that will cost $200,000, which will be subject to four-year terms.

Retail sportsbook licenses will be subject to the same length but will only cost $4,000. These will be for off-track facilities as well as commercial tracks such as Oxford Casino and Bangor Raceway.

LD 585 has several rules and regulations set in place to ensure the operation runs smoothly. Bettors must be at least 21 years of age and must be located in the state to place wagers. Betting on professional teams and college teams will be allowed. However, betting on in-state programs will not be permitted.

Many other states like New Jersey, New York, Virginia, and South Dakota don’t allow their residents the option to place wagers on in-state colligate programs, which include player props.

What Are the Potential Projections of the Sports Betting Market?

Maine has a population that is slightly over $13 million, which is the eighth smallest population in the country. However, the state will still be able to bring in a solid amount of revenue.

During the work session in March, Maine Gambling Control Unit Executive Director Milton Champion believes the state could bring in $6.9 million annually from the sports betting business venture.