Maine sports betting legislation is back on track.
The Joint Legal and Veteran Affairs Committee has unanimously agreed to push forward with Sen. Louis Luchini’s bill following a meeting held on Friday last week. The Committee has been considering four sports gambling measures filed at the start of this special session, and after much deliberation, the members have reached a consensus to use LD 1405 as the state’s legislative vehicle.
The proposed legislation is set to be tabled before the main house floor, albeit with some changes.
Amendment Proposed to Include Tethering Clause
Following the adoption of Sen Luchini’s bill, the state’s legislators have requested the lawmaker to amend the legislation to include a tethering clause.
The original bill allows potential licensees to enter the state’s regulated online market without partnering with a land-based operator. However, some lawmakers argue that untethering will have a negative impact on the local gambling establishments as it could drive them out of business. This argument has been supported by several operators in the state who are also in favor of a tethered model.
Speaking in support of the proposal, the president of Winners Circle OTB Jim Day said that it is unlikely that mobile operators will have a problem with tethering. According to Day, the likes of DraftKings, MGM, William Hill, and FanDuel are expecting a tethered model, and they are already in contact with some land-based facilities for negotiations in anticipation of the legislation being passed.
The Pine Tree State is home to two casinos; Oxford Casino in Oxford and Hollywood Slots Hotel and Raceway in Bangor. The other facilities that have been identified as eligible to offer legal sports betting in the jurisdiction include four off-track betting locations and two licensed commercial tracks.
At this point, however, there are no details regarding the number of sports betting skins that will be allowed for each brick-and-mortar establishment.
What Else Is in the Proposed Legislation?
LD 1405 proposes to authorize both in-person and statewide mobile sports betting in the Pine Tree State.
If the legislation is passed, the jurisdiction will have a legal market regulated by the Gambling Control Unit. This Unit will be created under the Department of Public Safety. The vertical will be legal and available to all Maine residents who are 21 years and older.
The bill proposes a license fee of $100,000 per operator, and these permits will be renewable every two years at the same cost. With regard to taxes, licensed mobile sportsbooks will be required to pay 16% of their adjusted gross gaming revenue to the state in taxes. The tax rate for retail betting facilities will be 10% of the revenue.
The measure also allows e-sports betting and fantasy sports contests as long as the contest is not based on the performance of athletes who are under 18 years. Wagering on high school events and in-state colleges is also prohibited.
Maine legislators have only two weeks to debate and pass the bill since the special session will adjourn on June 16.
Michael McKean is an experienced writer with a portfolio that includes work on the subjects of sport, gambling, travel and finance. With a background rooted in journalism, Michael first ventured into the professional writing world based in Switzerland, where he wrote for a number of language and travel sites and magazines before moving into the world of sports writing and gambling sites.
As an avid soccer fan, who follows everything from the Scottish lower leagues to the European elites, he has earned himself a solid reputation as a reliable football betting tipster and predictor. Outside of work, Michael has always gotten involved with grassroutes football everywhere he has worked and lived - UK, Spain, Portugal, Switzerland and Brazil - and still isn’t shy when it comes to pulling the boots on himself. As well as soccer, he has also developed a love of North American sports, particularly ice hockey - a love which began in Switzerland and saw him venture across the pond to follow the NHL. Moving away from dry land, he’s also a keen longboard surfer and is happiest when writing with a view of the ocean.