Maine Getting Ready to Make Sports Betting Legal

Publish: 01.05.2019

Maine is seriously considering legalizing sports betting, which would definitely be a lucrative move for the Pine Tree State.

A number of states have already made wagering on sports legal, as the industry – at least according to estimates – could bring more than $150 billion on a yearly basis. That’s why the real question is not whether the state should make this activity legal, but how the entire process should be conducted.

Photos taken at Las Vegas.


Finding the Right Approach

A meeting was held last week, a meeting between the state lawmakers and representatives from the casinos operating in Maine. The main topic of this meeting was how to move on with the legalization of sports betting. At this moment, there are five proposals in play, while it still remains uncertain which of them will get the necessary support from the state’s Congress.

Michel Sweeney, one of the directors of Scarborough Downs, pointed out the legalization of sports betting would bring additional funds to state coffers. Commenting on the benefits of such a move, the said this was an opportunity for industries that were home-grown, locally based, small mom-and-pop businesses to grow and thrive.

Setting up a legal basis for the legalization of sports betting shouldn’t be a difficult move. Two casinos are presently offering their services to Maine residents – Hollywood Casino in Bangor and Oxford Casino in Oxford – while a number of gambling options are regulated by the state, so adding sports betting would not require a brand-new piece of legislation.

Not everyone is in favour of making sports betting legal, while many fear such a move could lead to a rise in the number of gambling addicts. So far, the legalization of sports betting hasn’t increased the number of betting addicts, although this argument often pops up.

The Legalization is Imminent

A big step forward was made last week when the state’s Veteran and Legal Affairs Committee accepted testimony on all five sports betting-related proposals. However, there is more work to be done before the goal is reached.

There are those who believe the legalization of sports betting would pay off. Speaking about this issue, the executive director of the Gambling Control Unit, Milton Champion said there was only so much discretionary fund available, which indicated that New England had or was very close to reaching its saturation point.

Champion pointed out it was essential that Maine had the ability to offer what the competition offered, and by competition, he was referring to other states.

Rhode Island is so far the only state in the New England region to have made sports betting legal, although its revenue hasn’t lived up to expectations. There are several reasons for this, but the most important one is the fact that sports betting was launched in the last quarter of 2018. It’s more than obvious it will need more time to grow, as players are slowly switching from their gambling platforms to the recently legalized sportsbooks.

The U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA back in May last year, lifting the federal ban on sports betting which had been in effect for more than 25 years.

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