It’s Official! Maine Now Has Legal Sports Betting

Written By Chris Imperiale on May 4, 2022
Maine sports betting is now legal

Sports betting is finally coming to the state of Maine.

After Gov. Janet Mills signed a bill that permits both retail and online sportsbooks within the state.

This news might come as a slight surprise to some residents as sports betting hasn’t made much progress until now. Gov. Mills vetoed a bill from 2019 in early Jan. 2020 that would have brought sports betting to Maine a lot sooner.

Still, she pivoted and placed her name on the new bill on Monday. The legislation is tied to Maine’s three federally recognized tribal groups. These include:

  • Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians
  • Passamaquoddy Tribe
  • Penobscot Nation

Each of the three tribes receives an online sports betting license to use. They can either form a mobile sportsbook platform or partner with an existing operator.

While those are the only online licenses awarded in Maine, there are 10 others for retail sportsbooks. These are headed for establishments like casinos, horse racing venues, as well as other OTB locations.

Based on the timing of when Maine lawmakers meet, it appears like the new market should launch this summer, around July or August.

Maine sports betting bill in motion

Gov. Mills seemed “pleased” to sign LD585 into the books this week. She said:

“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.”

Maine is now one of the only places in the US to implement law around an alliance between a state and its tribes.

This bill gives tax relief to tribal members, along with their businesses. It also allows them to partake in an important part of the state’s gaming after being omitted for a very long time.

Along with the sports betting licenses, the legislation does plenty more for the Wabanaki Nations. It also provides economic and institutional adjustments to help benefit them going forward.

Gov. Mills continued:

“I am proud of the work that the Wabanaki Nations and the State put into drafting this legislation, and I am grateful for the honest effort, the extensive research and the hundreds of hours of negotiations and discussions which bore fruit in this bill. We will continue to work closely with the Tribes to make progress for the Wabanaki people.”

Legalized Maine sportsbooks

There are a few specifics regarding the sports betting market in ME. To start, all revenue from sports wagering is taxed at 10%.

As far as the sportsbook licensing fees are concerned, both are relatively inexpensive. There are four-year online licenses available for $200,000 each, whereas the retail licenses for the same four years are just $4,000.

Compare these figures with somewhere like New Jersey, where it costs $100,000 for an initial mobile license.

Bettors are probably more excited about hearing what options they’ll have for when legal sportsbooks are officially released. It will certainly be interesting to see which mobile platforms hit the state with only three spots up for grabs.

Hopefully, the three tribes decide on at least one major operator for residents. Although opinions differ, among the best you’ll find anywhere are apps like:

They all come equipped with limitless betting possibilities and a bunch of promotional deals to utilize regularly.

This summer should be an exciting time for those in ME. As long as this sports betting bill doesn’t run into any unforeseen obstacles, bettors can start thinking about their future NFL bets for this upcoming season.

Photo by Robert F. Bukaty/Associated Press
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