Two Maine Sports Betting Bills Are on the Docket, One with Better Odds to Pass

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Lawmakers in Maine are currently looking into two bills that could legalize sports betting in the state. The two bills both have some similarities. Each of the bills would bestow the Indigenous tribes in Maine with the exclusive rights to the Maine mobile sports betting market.

However, one of the bills, LD 585, would also have consideration for the two casinos in Maine when it comes to Maine sports betting. Each of these Maine casinos are owned by companies that are located outside of the state.

With popular betting seasons such as the Super Bowl having recently passed and March Madness betting coming soon, Maine residents could be eager to get in on the action. And, sports betting operators are missing out on the possible revenue. In addition, the state of Maine is missing out on possible tax revenue that could benefit their residents.

It is estimated that 85% of the sports bets that would legally be placed in Maine would be through online sports betting. And, these bills would give the online sports betting market in the state to the Indigenous tribes in Maine. Around 50% of the profits from online sports betting would go to the Wabanaki tribes in the state.

The sportsbook operator would be set to receive up to 40%. Sports betting in Maine would be taxed at a rate of 10%. The tribes in the state have indicated that they plan to use this money to help the community in Maine. For instance, members of the Passamaquoddy tribe near Eastport, Maine, are still having issues accessing clean drinking water.

However, in one of the bills, the two casinos in Maine would also get a piece of the sports betting action. The Oxford Casino would be able to have sports betting onsite at the casino. The Hollywood Casino would be able to operate sports betting out of its raceway. 

Even so, because the casinos would not have access to the online sports betting market, they will not be earning a large amount of the revenue the state stands to earn from sports betting. Giving tribes the exclusive access to the online sports betting market in the state could do wonders for Maine’s relations with their Indigenous tribes.

One of the bills, LD 585 would allot four mobile sportsbook licenses to the Indigenous tribes in the state. The other bill, LD 1352, from last year’s legislative session, is still on the Special Appropriations Table, meaning it is technically still in play. But, some legislators have lost faith in moving that bill forward after all this time.

Written by Allie Nelson, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert.