Update on Maine’s Efforts to Legalize Sports Betting: Wait Until Early 2020

  • Sports betting looked like it would be legal in Maine this year, but the bill hit a snag after Gov. Janet Mills opted not to sign it.

Sports bettors in Maine will have to wait another year to wager within the state legally.

After a bill zoomed through the Maine House and Senate on June 19, 2019, Gov. Janet Mills opted not to sign it. Under Maine law, a bill that goes unsigned by the governor automatically becomes law three days into the next legislative session. (Important note: Mills could also choose to veto the bill within those first three days of the next legislative session.)

Matthew Kredell from Legal Sports Report reported on Friday that Maine will not call a special session this summer to revive the bill, meaning we’ll have to wait for Maine’s 2020 session to get underway on Jan. 8, 2020 for clarity on the future of sports betting in the state. The earliest Maine could go legal is Jan. 10, 2020.

Maine’s bill, as it stands now, would allow for full mobile betting throughout the state, and give operators the option to be online-only (meaning FanDuel, for example, wouldn’t have to attach itself to a land-based casino to operate a mobile product within the state). The online-only retailers would face a steeper tax rate, though: 16%, compared to 10% for brick-and-mortar operators.

The Supreme Court’s May 2018 ruling that overturned the federal ban on sports betting has allowed states outside of Nevada to legalize it if they wish. Since then, we’ve seen the following states make the move: Arkansas, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Mississippi, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee and West Virginia.

For updates on where legal sports betting stands in all 50 states, check out our tracker.

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