Maine Sports Betting Bill Passes Legislature, Awaiting Governor’s Signature
Maine became the third state in New England to legislate sports betting after L.D. 553 bill was approved by the state’s House and Senate. The bill was passed to Gov. Janet Mills today, June 20, who is expected to sign it into law.
Legislative Document 553 moved quickly through the legislature on Tuesday, June 18 and was approved by each chamber yesterday, June 19. Besides a USD 2,000 licensing fee, all land-based licensed establishments such as casinos will be taxed 10%, while the mobile-only platform providers would have to pay 16%. The majority of the revenue raised by these taxes will be allocated to the Maine General Fund, 1 percent of the wagering earnings will be allocated to this nation’s Gambling Addiction Prevention and Treatment Fund and an additional 1 percent is going to be utilized to pay the Gambling Control Unit’s operating expenses.
Operators will be allowed to give odds on all of professional, collegiate and amateur sports events, such as motor racing and sports, even though gambling on events between Maine-based schools and universities will be illegal. Just citizens aged 21 and over will be permitted to bet.
The bill was created by Senator Louis Lucchini earlier this year and has been sitting with the legislature while its regulatory framework was developed. After this was completed, it promptly moved through the Senate and House, where it got the final approval from both chambers.
LD553 will open the market to all of the state’s land-based gambling establishments, including commercial racetracks, off-track gambling centers, commercial and tribal casinos. It is going to also enable mobile-only operators to get a permit with no necessity for a land-based partner from the state.
Members of the legislative committee had debated whether to require mobile gaming operators to be linked or”tethered” to a different licensee with a physical center at Maine. Supporters of the “tethered” permit claimed it would help encourage existing gambling-related companies that employ Maine employees and pay local property taxation. However, nearly all committee members and the majority in both chambers of the Legislature chose the untethered alternative.
Bill sponsor Sen. Louis Luchini, stated on a floor debate on Tuesday night that not tethering mobile operators to a land-based licensee is much more of a”free market” approach.
“To me, it’s a strange way to write a law that would require a new business to come into Maine only if they tether their license to an existing business,” stated Luchini, co-chairman of the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee. “We don’t require Amazon to tether to existing grocery stores and we don’t require Airbnb to tether to hotels.”
Regional Sports-Betting Expansion
Since the US Supreme Court overturned PASPA last year, the peer pressure has pushed a lot of growth in the sports gambling sector.
Mississippi and Arkansas legalized sports gambling starting the movement in the South. Tennessee followed this season together with all of its neighbor states, even the improbable ones such as Georgia and Alabama. Iowa regulated the market last month and Lousiana is almost there too.
Currently, there are eight states that offer regulated sports betting operations and other 10 have laws pending launch.