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Maine Betting

Editor’s note: As of Jan. 18, 2021

A sports betting bill moved quickly through the Maine Legislature, passing both chambers on June 19, 2019, landing on Gov. Janet Mills’ desk, where she opted not to sign it.

Due to a law on the state books, a bill that goes unsigned automatically becomes law three days into the next legislative session. Or the governor also could choose to veto the bill in the same time period.

The governor generally isn’t pro-gambling expansion but her signature on the bill was expected.

“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,” she said in June. “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.”

So, sports betting was in limbo in the Pine Tree State. The Maine Legislature reconvened on Jan. 8, 2020.

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In a bit of a surprise, Gov. Mills chose to veto the bill and it went back to the state Senate where they had the required two-thirds majority needed to override the veto. Rather than going through with it however, lawmakers chose to listen to the lobbying of the Governor and didn't override the veto. Therefore the bill has died and we'll see if the 2021 legislative session will see any progress. The sports betting bill as passed but not signed says:

·         Bettors must be 21 years old

·         The state’s 11 venues, which includes two casinos, a racetrack, four off-track betting parlors and venues affiliated with Maine’s four Native American tribes

·         Mobile and online betting is allowed

·         Sportsbook operators, who do not have to partner with a land-based facility, have option to be online only with a 16 percent tax rate; brick-and-mortar venues will be taxed at 10 percent

·         Betting is allowed on pro leagues, college sports and other amateur contests; betting is prohibited on high school sports and in-state college games

Is sports betting currently legal in the state?

No. A bill passed the Maine Legislature but was was vetoed by the Governor.

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