Maine Sports Betting: Is a 2021 Launch Possible? (September Updates & Promos)

Maine Sports Betting Update September

Maine has once again failed to get sports betting pass. Congress, specifically the Senate had too many issues with the bill that revolved around tethering sports betting to retail casinos in the state. This ultimately caused the bill to head back to committee one too many times before the legislation left for recess. Sports Betting will have no chance to become legal in the state until 2022.

No other state has consistently gotten as close to legalizing, without actually doing so, as Maine. Whether it was the Janet Mills veto in 2019, or the Senate blocking the bill at the last minute in 2020, Maine has been painfully close to legalizing. This means that experts are rather hopeful that 2022 can finally be the year of legalization in the state.

Maine Legal 2021 Recap

Maine 1The State Congress in Maine had decided to proceed with a single sports betting bill, LD1352. Prior to this bill, there were three to four other viable options; however, Congress has settled on this one.

Some of the major details of this bill include the tax rate and licensing fee. As the bill stands, LD 1352 requires a $100,000 fee for a two-year license to operate as a sportsbook. Then, the tax rate will be a flat 16% rate for online sportsbooks and 10% for retail sportsbooks. Quite a large difference that heavily favors casinos in the state.

The biggest point of contention was tethering. Tethering is when sportsbooks are required to partner with retail casinos in order to operate in a state. Obviously, the major casino providers in Maine are the ones pushing for tethering, and these casinos are some of the biggest lobbyists in the Maine State Congress. This is what ultimately led to the downfall of this bill.

Projected Maine Sports Betting Timeline

Maine sports betting does not have a hard timeline. The major legislation, LD 1352, failed in the legislature. This bill did seem promising, and it does not seem far-fetched that a bill will be passed sometime in the near future, in 2022. However, if a bill does get by congress, it still has to get by Governor Janet Mills, who vetoed a bill in 2020 under the guise that Maine was not ready for sports betting. It seems very likely that Gov. Mills struck down the bill because retail casinos in the state were not approving of it, and casinos make up a large chunk of Mill’s donors.

Top Projected Maine Sports Betting Platforms

Sports betting in Maine is a massive deal. Some of the best online sportsbooks in the United States are eyeing the Maine market and looking to take over as big of a piece of the pie as possible. These are our projected top sportsbooks that will most likely enter the Maine online sports betting scene.

DraftKings Sportsbook

DraftKings

DraftKings Sportsbook has quickly become one of the nation’s favorite sportsbooks. DraftKings was already a huge daily fantasy operator when the United States overturned PASPA and opened the floodgates for sports betting. DraftKings jumped at the opportunity and brought its expertise as an online DFS operator to online sports betting. Now, many consider DraftKings to offer the best online sportsbook in North America.

In other states, DraftKings currently offers a $1,000 deposit match bonus when you sign up using the Lineups.com link. Then, following that first deposit that is matched at a 20% rate up to $1,000, you will receive a $50 free bet. That totals up to a possible $1,050 of bonus DraftKings money when you sign up using Lineups.com’s links. We project that this offer will be extended to Maine if DraftKings enters the market.

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FanDuel

FanDuel is another operator which stemmed out of the online daily fantasy sports world. FanDuel has seen great success as a sportsbook; however, that success really took off when FanDuel Group was bought out by Flutter Entertainment, a British online betting company. Since then, FanDuel has consistently boasted one of the best and biggest sportsbooks in the United States. It seems as though with every new state that legalizes sports betting, FanDuel is at the forefront and offering its online platform.

The new user bonus that FanDuel offers in every state that it operates its sportsbook in is a $1,000 risk-free bet. We expect that FanDuel would also offer Maine this risk-free bet for new users if it were to launch in the state. The risk-free bet means that your first eligible bet slip cannot lose; you either win the bet or get refunded your bet up to $1,000.

FanDuel Sportsbook Preview

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BetMGM

BetMGM is the sportsbook provided by MGM International Resorts, one of the biggest hospitality and gambling companies in the world. BetMGM is a product that MGM created alongside Entain, an online gambling company. BetMGM has leaped out to a great start in the young United States market. Not only is the sportsbook great, but BetMGM does a fantastic job of partnering with major sports franchises. BetMGM is an official partner of the Detroit Lions, Tennessee Titans, Pittsburgh Steelers, and more.

We project that BetMGM will offer its current new user bonus of a $1,000 risk-free bet. This bonus is offered in each state that BetMGM’s online sportsbook is live in. In those states, you simply need to use the bonus code “LINEUPS” to unlock the risk-free bet.

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Caesars Logo Icon 150x150Caesars

Caesars Sportsbook has recently partnered with William Hill and it has now launched its new sportsbook application. William Hill is originally from the United Kingdom and is widely considered one of the best sports betting providers in the entire world. Now, with the William Hill partnerships, Caesars will continue to offer its fantastic sports betting product in the United States.

At the moment, the new user bonus with Caesars is unlocked with the promo code “LINEUPSRF” in each state that the sportsbook is live in, except Illinois. The promo grants a $5,000 risk-free bet following your first deposit, by far the best offer in the industry as of now. If Caesars Maine does launch, then we expect the same great promo to be offered.

Caesars mobile app preview

Maine Retail Casinos

Whether tethering is required or not, we fully expect that retail sports betting will be present in Maine. Oxford Casino and Hollywood Casino will most likely be the two first retail sportsbooks in the state, not to mention the largest. These casinos have a ton of pull in Maine, and it will be hard for any sports betting bill to pass without their support.

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Oxford Casino

Address: 777 Casino Way, Oxford, ME 04270
Hours: Open 24 hours
Phone: (207) 539-6700
Sports Betting: No (Project Yes Once Sports Betting is Live)
Games: Slots and Table Games

Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor

Address: 500 Main St, Bangor, ME 04401
Hours: 9am-12am
Phone: (877) 779-7771
Sports Betting: No (Project Yes Once Sports Betting is Live)
Games: Slots, Poker, Race Track, and Table Games

Maine Betting Market

nfl logo 100The Maine betting market will be an interesting one to follow. With just over a million people, the population is not big by any means. Add on top of this that Maine does not really have any large collegiate or professional teams around it, and some may worry that the market will be too small. However, we have seen relative success compared to size in New Hampshire, another state with a small population and limited sports teams.

The success of the market will really come down to branding and how easy it is to bet. If residents can wager online from their homes, then the market will likely succeed, as we have seen in other similar states. The key will be ease of access.

Collegiate Betting

ncaa logo100Maine will have collegiate sports betting. However, like many other states, there will be no in-state betting. This means that operators can offers as many college sporting events as they would like, as long as the event does not include a school from Maine or take place in Maine. This will not be a large issue as there are no sizable college teams inside of Maine.

Maine Legal History

Maine has had an interesting legal history with sports betting. The previous campaign to legalize sports wagering and online sports wagering is infamous among experts in the community. Legislatures were able to come to an agreement with a very sportsbook-friendly set of rules that would have been some of the most liberal in the United States.

However, Governor Janet Mills vetoed the bill, which came as a shock to many. She was quoted as saying that she did not believe that Maine was ready for legal sports betting. When you dig a little deeper, it seems that the main retail casinos in the state influenced her decision, as both were big campaign donors and both opposed the sports betting bill. The reason that retail casinos did not like this sports betting bill is because it did not require tethering, and national sportsbooks could offer their online product without the retail casinos getting a cut.

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Maine Sports Betting FAQ

Is sports betting legal in Maine?

Not at this moment in time. Maine is working on legalizing sports betting throughout the state. LD 1352 was the lead candidate to get sports betting legalized. However, once past the House, it was unable to get the votes needed in the Senate. Maine will need to try again in 2022.

Is sports betting legal in the United States?

Yes, up until 2018, single-game sports betting was basically banned in the United States. However, a court case challenged PASPA, the bill that outlawed sports betting, and the Supreme Court found the bill unconstitutional. Now, states can legalize sports betting within their borders.

Is online sports betting planned in Maine?

Yes, a large part of LD 1352, the previous leading sports betting bill in Maine, is to legalize online sports betting inside the state. The biggest debate now is whether to allow any sportsbook to apply for licensing or force online sportsbooks to partner with retail casinos.

Can you play online poker in Maine?

No, online poker is not legalized inside the State of Maine. This is something that Congress has looked at and might be a possibility in the future. However, without joining the Inter-State Gaming Compact, it is likely that online poker in Maine would be barren.

Does Maine have online casinos?

No, there are no online casinos in Maine, and they are not currently legal in Maine. Online casinos will be a topic of discussion as online sports betting continues to get discussed in the legislature.

What is the legal betting age in Maine?

The legal betting age in Maine is 21 years old. This is not going to change with sports betting. This means that whether you are betting on sports in-person or online, you will need to be 21 years of age to do so.

Can I bet on March Madness in Maine?

Once sports betting is legalized, yes, collegiate sports will be available in Maine. This means that you can wager on March Madness in the State of Maine, and you will be able to do so online from the comfort of your own couch.

Can I bet on sports when visiting Maine?

Not yet, but once sports betting is legalized, there is no law that states you must be a permanent resident of Maine in order to bet on sports. As long as you are within the borders of Maine, you can create an online sportsbook account and wager.

Can I bet on sports in other states as a Maine resident?

Yes, several states allow wagers within their borders. This includes states like New Jersey and New Hampshire, both of which are extremely close to Maine and allow online sports betting. You can also bet in New York at Upstate casinos.

What is the largest sportsbook sign-up bonus in Maine?

We project that the largest sign-up bonus in Maine will be the possible $1,050 of bonus cash that DraftKings projects to offer with its sportsbook. This comes in the form of a 20% deposit match, up to $1,000, and a $50 free bet.

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Matthew is a UC Berkeley economic and philosophy graduate. He has played DFS, Football pools, and survival leagues for most of his adult life. Matthew brings to the table great strategies for both your GPP and Cash plays as well as a winning track record with his picks of the week.