New England’s sportsbook handle is about to get bigger as the Pine Tree State prepares to welcome legal online sports betting. On Monday, Gov. Janet Mills signed LD585, promptly authorizing sportsbook operations in Maine.
Maine Sports Betting Law Favors Tribes
In-state bettors can look forward to the arrival of in-person betting kiosks at casinos and race tracks, as well as digital options for the player on the go.
The state will provide up to 10 brick-and-mortar sportsbook licenses to eligible applicants and will reserve four online sportsbooks for each of Maine’s respective tribes. Each operator will be subject to a 10% annual revenue tax on all sportsbook profits.
Maine’s new law extends exclusive USA mobile sportsbook privileges to the state’s Wabanaki Nations in an effort to give the tribes more authority over the local gambling industry.
Having been “left out” in prior gaming legislation, it seems the legislature is righting an earlier wrong.
In a comment to reporters, the Governor emphasized the equal benefits that LD585 provides for both the tribes and the state. She said,
“This law provides meaningful economic opportunities for the Wabanaki Nations. It incentivizes investment in tribal communities, and it formalizes a collaboration process on policy that sets the foundation for a stronger relationship in the future,”
Still, this hasn’t settled issues of sovereignty for the Wabanaki Nations. Another bill would have amended the Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act of 1980 to free native lands from their quasi-municipality status.
Anticipate Upcoming Lawsuits In Maine
Moreover, commercial gaming entities seem to be deeply unhappy with the outcome of this legislative session. Being excluded from the online gaming space means losing out on nearly 85% of the market.
This could become an issue for bettors if Maine’s commercial operators decide to pursue legal action. If all goes to plan, sports betting could kick off within a year. However, that might not be the case for this state.
Florida, for example, is awaiting approval from the federal courts to re-launch mobile betting operations for its tribes.
The Sunshine State outlined similar provisions to Maine in its sports betting legislation and delegated online betting privileges to the Seminole Tribe.
A lawsuit from commercial operators was swiftly sent to a federal court in Washington where the sports betting law was voided by U.S. District Judge Dabney Friedrich. The measure now awaits a response from an appellate court.
Commercial operators could easily sue to block legal online sports betting in Maine just like they did in Florida. Fortunately, there is a wide variety of reliable sportsbook options available to U.S. players.
Offshore sports betting sites provide a legal online resource for bettors to wager on their favorite games, no matter where they are. And with potential lawsuits ahead, it may be your only option for a while.
Source: News Center Maine