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Maine Poised to Legalize Sports BettingPublished June 25, 2019 by Elana K
Maine's sports betting bill passed through the state Senate in a vote of 19-15; the governor now has 10 days to sign, let it pass without a signature or veto.
Maine is one step away from legalizing sports betting - the bill is waiting for Governor Janet Mills to add her signature. The bill passed through the state Senate in a vote of 19-15; the governor now has 10 days to sign, let it pass without a signature or veto.
If the governor approves or lets it pass, Maine will become the fifth state this year to have legalized sports betting.
What’s in the Bill?
Maine’s sports betting bill will allow in-person and mobile sports betting at 11 places - one racetrack, two casinos, four OTBs, and four tribal casinos. Unlike other states that have legalized online sports betting, Maine will not require online sportsbooks to have a land-based partner, which means that companies from out-of-state can operate online sportsbooks independently. This is a new, “free-market” model and Maine will be the first state to implement it.
The bill’s sponsor, Senator Louis Luchini said, “We don’t require Amazon to tether to existing grocery stores and we don’t require Airbnb to tether to hotels.” Thus his logic for not requiring online sportsbooks to be tethered to land-based ones.
The projected revenue for the first year of sports betting is $1.9 million, and it’s estimated to grow to $5.6 million by the fourth year. The revenue will be generated from a 10% tax on retail betting, a 16% tax on online betting, a $2000 annual license fee for retailers, and a $20,000 annual licensing fee for online sportsbooks. While these numbers may sound high, they’re actually on the lower end when compared to other states, specifically, Pennsylvania and its 36% tax rate.