The sports gambling bill which would have regulated sports wagering and online sports betting in the State of Maine was suspended until next year.
No Sports Gambling in Maine until 2020
Gov. Janet Mill refused to sign the LD 553 bill, sponsored by pro-gambling Senator Louis Luchini, which would have brought legal sports betting within the state. She held the bill for further review until the start of the next legislative session in January next year.
“The Legislature has passed a significant number of bills this session, and I take seriously my constitutional obligation to thoroughly review all of them, evaluate their implications and decide whether they are in the best interest of Maine people,” Mills stated. “I will continue to review these bills and gather more information, and I look forward to acting on them at the beginning of the next legislative session.”
The bill, which received very little opposition in the Legislation would have regulated sports gambling in the state and would have opened the sports betting market for casinos, commercial tracks, off-track betting facilities, and federally recognized Indian tribes. Some estimations showed that the state will see up to $4 million in revenues over the first two years from the law, which would also donate 1% to the gambling addiction and prevention fund.
The law will also regulate internet sports bets. Estimates on how big sports gambling will be in Maine differ widely, but a fiscal note submitted with the bill suggests that once the law is fully implemented, the state could be collecting as much as $5 million a year from licensing fees and taxes.
What will happen to the bill in 2020?
By Maine Law, Gov. Mill will have two options in the next session. First, if she does not veto the bill in the first three days of the legislative session, the bill will automatically be passed as a law. She might also choose to outright veto the bill in the three-day period.
The Governor of the state can also call a special session in the beginning of the legislative session to work on the bill’s issues together with both sides of the argument.
The sponsor of the bill, Democratic Senator Luchini has expressed hopes that both sides of the table can work together on the issues found in the bill, and eventually bring sports gambling to the state:
“I greatly respect her opinions and am happy to work with her on a resolution if possible.”
If Gov. Mills decides to veto the bill, then the two chambers of the state’s legislation can still overturn the rejection if they receive support of at least two-thirds of the members.