Maine Vote on Sports Betting Coming Shortly

Written by:
Gilbert Horowitz
Published on:

Maine legislators say they are 95% there but it is the other 5% they need to hash out, at which point sports betting could soon become a reality in the New England state.  Seven bills have been reduced to one.

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The Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee wrote most of the bill Monday, including much of the regulatory structure.  The measure includes language that would help with problem gambling.

Tax rates and licensing fees are still under discussion.  Additionally lawmakers will need to determine if sports betting will be tied to brick and mortar casinos. At least one state Senator, Louis Luchini, D-Ellsworth, has supported allowing mobile-only sites into the market,

"I think today went really well, actually," said Ellsworth, Senate Chair of the committee. "I think we're in agreement on 95% of it, and it's the last 5% that we're just going to have to hash out by the end of the week. Hopefully, we'll be able to vote on it and get a bill out to the full House and Senate."

Maine lawmakers were also leaning towards allowing those 18 years or old to bet on sports.  Most states that have legalized the activity require individuals placing sports wagers to be at least 21.

States have been racing to legalize sports wagering since the US Supreme Court overturned decades of prohibition last May.

WGME reports:

There has been no opposition to allowing betting on professional sports, but casinos, off-track betting parlors and the mobile site DraftKings have made their cases for disproportionate shares of the new action and low tax rates because of small profit margins. That conflict is going to underlie the rest of the debate in the Legislature.

- Gilbert Horowitz, Gambling911.com

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