Is Sports Betting Legal in Maine?
Ah, the great state of Maine, with its beautiful coastlines and all the lobster you can eat. As far as sports betting goes, the state of Maine hasn’t really tackled the topic. Like most states around the country, the legislature is on a prolonged holiday for the summer months, so legislation will have to wait until 2019.
Maine will be a rather interesting state in the process. Some of the more populous states in the US are moving quickly to get sports betting legalized and taxed. Less populous states seem to be moving at a slower pace. Maine is one of those to this point. Maine does have casinos and off-track betting facilities, though, so there is already enough infrastructure to get the ball rolling sooner rather than later. Many of the states that haven’t started are states with a limited number of gaming facilities or none at all.
Maine is rather isolated in terms of the states that plan to offer sports betting and the province of Ontario, which does offer parlay wagering via Proline through the provincial lottery, is a decent haul as well. The major cities that run along I-95 are close enough to Massachusetts, a state that has introduced some sports gambling studies, but Vermont and New Hampshire aren’t exactly moving quickly.
Penn National Gaming runs some of the state’s casinos and Penn will have its hands in sports betting efforts in other states, so they will have some data with which to lobby the representatives when that time comes next year.
Recent Stories About Sports Betting
Per Scott Thistle and Steve Craig of the Press Herald, sports betting isn’t expected anytime soon, but representatives are quoted in this article regarding bills that should come early in 2019 to the floor.
In a very detailed write-up from Maine Public, a media site affiliated with PBS and NPR, author Camila Domonske solicited a lot of different opinions from representatives, policy makers, and staff.
Maine, unlike a lot of other states in budget crises, would certainly enjoy an additional windfall of tax revenues, but there are a lot of other industries thriving in the state. The current casinos do very well and the state’s relatively low population relative to other states may lower the expectations for revenues from legalized sports betting. However, Maine, a state that largely beats to its own drum socially and politically, will probably adopt some sort of sports betting within the next few years.