Maine could become one of the next states to legalize sports betting, although there are still several hurdles to climb at this time. The State Legislature recently introduced Senate Bill 1352, and this is the second straight year that a legislator brought a bill to the table.
Senator Louis Luchini is the man behind SB 1352, and he is hopeful that this piece of legislation will have more success than Bill LD 553 was a year ago. Getting a sports betting bill through the legislature is not the biggest issue in Maine, but convincing Governor Janet Mills is another story.
Mills had Bill LD 553 on her desk more than a year ago but vetoed that piece of legislation, sending it back to the legislature. Lawmakers at that time did not choose to override the veto, and it’s unclear if there is more support this time around.
This current bill has been sent to the Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs, and it must first pass that before heading to the main Senate floor. Maine has a very limited gaming industry, but legalizing sports betting could provide a significant boost.
Competition From Surrounding States
If Maine legalizes sports betting in 2021, it will face stiff competition from other states in that part of the country. New Jersey dominates the sports betting industry among East Coast markets, but there are some other smaller betting markets doing well.
New Hampshire and Rhode Island both currently have sports betting in place, and each state has done well for its size. Maine would likely be looking to challenge these two states, but it would have some work to do.
Connecticut and Massachusetts are also looking to legalize sports betting, and there will be some pressure on lawmakers in Maine to get to the finish line first.
Potential For Plenty of Licenses
According to this bill, tribal casinos, commercial casino operators, OTB’s, and racetracks would all be eligible to apply for a sports betting license. The Department of Public Safety Gambling Control Unit would be placed in charge of sports betting, and it would be the group receiving all of the applications.
Lawmakers are proposing a $20,000 licensing fee, which is exceptionally cheap compared to other markets. Several rules and regulations would need to be added, but the initial bill would create a solid sports betting industry.
Maine Not Known For Sports
It’s unclear how well sports betting will go in Maine as this is not a state with a strong sports background. There are no major professional sports teams in Maine and minimal options when it comes to collegiate sporting events as well.
This doesn’t mean that sports fans in Maine don’t have any popular teams to root for, and there are some successful NFL teams in that part of the country. The New England Patriots would seemingly help drive sports betting in Maine, and the entire NFL would become a top sports betting option, as it has throughout the country.