First Full-Fledged Sports Betting Bill Introduced In Maine

A bill in Maine calls for both brick-and-mortar sports betting lounges and online betting platforms. The businesses would be taxed at 25%.
The Maine State House in Augusta, Maine

Maine’s first true sports betting bill was filed this week.

Following a shell measure that was introduced in January, the legislation, LD 1348, has an official House introduction date slated for Thursday, Mar. 21. It has 10 lawmakers behind it.

The bill would authorize the state’s Gambling Control Board to issue sports betting licenses, for both retail and online operations. The state’s tribal groups and licensed racinos could offer the new activity.

Additionally, the state could issue licenses to federally recognized Indian tribes — which are not now involved with brick-and-mortar casino gambling — to operate online-only sport wagering platforms. Additional bills of varying lengths and approaches are also likely forthcoming, the Press Herald reported.

The bill would allow betting on pro and college sports, but would ban gambling on video games (eSports).

“The bill requires the board to adopt rules regulating the conduct of sports wagering, including rules restricting the types of wagers permitted, [and] establishing the maximum wagers that may be accepted from any one person on a single sports event,” the bill reads.

That section implies there could be some significant restrictions on betting in Maine, depending on the crafting of regulations plays out. The five-member GCB would have significant authority over the activity.

Taxes and fees

The bill would levy a 25% tax on operators’ sports betting revenues.

One percent of that would be used for the administrative expenses for regulating sports betting, with the rest going to the Treasurer of State to the Department of Education for “essential programs and services for kindergarten to grade 12” education.

The associated fees would be minimal. It would cost $30k to apply for a sports wagering license and $15k annually thereafter to renew.

LD 1348’s current provisions

  • Mobile Betting? Yes
  • In-person registration required? No
  • Tax rate: 25%
  • Annual license fee: $15,000
  • Legal to bet on college games?: Yes
  • Fee to pro leagues: No
  • Use of “official league data” mandated?: No
  • Regulatory body: Maine Gambling Control Board
  • Where the money goes: Education

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