Today, after a year-and-a-half of planning, Maine has launched its legal sports betting market.
Online Sports Betting Live in Maine
LD 585 was passed in May of 2022. It legalized online and retail sports betting in Maine and dubbed the Maine Gambling Control Unit (MGCU) the industry’s regulator.
Online sports betting licenses are only available to the four federally recognized Native American tribes in the state. These four tribes are the Maliseet, Micmac, Penobscot and Passamaquoddy. They can partner with one commercial operator. Retail sportsbooks are limited to commercial tracks, casinos and off-track betting facilities in the state.
Tribes will get 50% or more of the mobile revenue, the state will get 10%, and 0.25% will go toward federal taxes.
Throughout the regulatory process, the MGCU, notably Executive Chairman Milton Champion, was under fire for strict rules and regulations. While several of them were repealed, two stuck.
Operators are prohibited from using celebrities in their advertisements, nor are they allowed to advertise their promotional offers.
Betting on Maine college teams is also prohibited.
Caesars Sportsbook Launches in Pine Tree State
Those looking to place online sports bets can do so now with Caesars sportsbook. The first sportsbook to officially launch in the state, Caesars is partnered with the Maliseet, Micmac, and Penobscot tribes.
Other sportsbooks such as BetMGM and DraftKings have also secured a license to operate in the state.
BetMGM is contracted with two off-track betting facilities to open in-person sportsbooks in the state.
DraftKings, meanwhile, is partnered with the Passamaquoddy Tribe. The tribes have no stake in the retail sports betting market.
New England Sports Betting Market Nearly Complete
With the addition of Maine to the U.S. sports betting market – which now features nearly 40 states – legal sports betting in all of New England is almost a reality.
Maine joins Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rhode Island, and New Hampshire as states with sports betting. Vermont is now the only state without it; however, Gov. Phil Scott signed a Vermont sports betting bill into law in June of this year. BetMGM, DraftKings, Fanatics Betting and Gaming, FanDuel, and Penn Sports Interactive (ESPN Bet) have all submitted applications. The state is expected to launch in early 2024.