Lawmakers in Maine Finally Approve Sports Betting

Maine’s lawmakers have finally done it! On the very last day of the legislative session, they approved the new piece of legislation that will allow sports betting within the state.

The bill needs to be signed by Governor Janet Mills, and if all goes through according to plans, customers in the Pine Tree State will be able to wager on sports via mobile and in person by the end of this year.

Lawmakers in Maine Finally Approve Sports Betting

A Progressive Piece of Legislation

It should be pointed out the latest proposal is one of the more progressive bills, as it includes the legalization of mobile betting since the initial date of its launch. Some states, including Pennsylvania, have opted to start their sports betting expansion with kiosks and in person betting first, before approving wagering via mobile.

Betting via mobile is a very important vertical, which in New Jersey accounts for more than 80% of all bets. So it doesn’t come as a surprise that those states which decided not to offer this option to its customers are seeing their revenues stagnate or even drop.

Experts and the gambling industry, in general, have praised the new bill, especially its low tax rates and the number of betting locations.

Commenting on the new bill, Steve Silver, a professor of gaming law at the University of Maine School said it would be one of the few post-PASPA laws that embraced a free market concept – meaning numerous licenses in terms of type and location, relatively low fees and taxes, no integrity fees, and no data mandates.

Maine wanted to speed up the legalization of sports betting due to the wide sports betting expansion throughout the northeast US. New Hampshire is at this moment waiting for the governor’s signature, while New York is on the verge of making a decision that will decide its sports betting future.

Waiting for the Signature

The next move is on Governor Mills, as the bill needs her signature. She’ll have 10 working days to ink the new bill, and if she fails to do so by July 3, the new piece of legislation will come into effect 90 days later.

This means the sports betting will definitely become legal in Maine by October.

At this moment, the state’s lawmakers believe Governor Mills will sign the bill, as she had used all her vetoes for this legislative session.

Casinos in Maine gave their best to prevent DraftKings and FanDuel from opening on the start date but failed to get the necessary support for their goal.

One of the sponsors of the new bill in the Hose, Representative Scott Strom, explained the casinos feared the two online betting giants would have too much of an advantage over their market rivals.

Strom said they had fought for tethering because they felt DraftKings and FanDuel were going to have an advantage over them. He added they had even tried to get a two-year headstart – when they couldn’t get that – but added they hadn’t pick up any traction with that initiative.

Operators fear the sports betting won’t start in time for the new football season, but lawmakers believe it would be up and running by that time.