Caesars and DraftKings Gear Up for Launch as Maine Legalizes Sports Betting

Maine to Begin Legal Sports Betting This Weekend

Posted on: November 2, 2023, 02:35h. 

Last updated on: November 2, 2023, 04:34h.

Legal sports betting in Maine is set to begin this weekend following the approval of new regulations. The Maine Department of Public Safety Gambling Control Unit has released updated sports wagering rules and announced that sportsbooks will start accepting bets from Friday, November 3, at 9 a.m.

A sign welcomes visitors to Maine, where legal sports betting will be allowed beginning Friday. (Image: Road Travel America via Creative Commons)

Executive Director Milton Champion has informed that a list of eligible events for wagering will be posted on the department’s website on Friday morning.

Maine’s sports betting law grants exclusive operating rights to the state’s four Native American tribes.

The market launch is the result of an extensive review process by the Gambling Control Unit, an agency with a small staff of three full-time employees. During the review, over 600 comments were filed on the proposed rules.

Caesars, DraftKings Ready for Launch

The overwhelming majority of sports bets in Maine are expected to be placed online, following the trend seen throughout most of the country. Mobile sportsbooks are anticipated to capture approximately 85% of the state’s sports betting market.

Maine’s legalization of sports betting was part of broader legislation aimed at granting more sovereignty to the state’s four tribes, the Penobscot Nation, the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, and the Mi’kmaq Nation, collectively known as the Wabanaki confederation.

Existing sportsbook operators have formed partnerships with the tribes to offer mobile sports betting platforms in Maine.

Earlier this year, Caesars Sportsbook partnered with the Penobscot, Maliseet, and Micmac nations to handle their sports betting operations. This week, DraftKings announced their partnership with the Passamaquoddy Tribe.

“Building a relationship with the Passamaquoddy Tribe is a fantastic opportunity for DraftKings as we bring safe and legal sports betting to customers in the state of Maine,” said Jason Robins, CEO and DraftKings co-founder in a press release. “We look forward to collaborating with the Maine Gambling Control Unit and becoming the official mobile sports betting provider of the Passamaquoddy Tribe as we launch in our industry-leading 25th state.”

The law also permits the operation of retail sportsbooks at the state’s two brick-and-mortar casinos, Hollywood Casino Bangor and Oxford Casino Hotel, as well as racetracks and off-track betting facilities.

Revenue Sharing Agreement with Tribes

An important goal of Maine’s decision to legalize sports betting is to provide economic benefits to the four tribes. These tribes were granted recognition under a 1980 law that grants narrower rights compared to other Native American tribes, including the ability to organize gaming activities.

The sports betting legislation was passed last year after extended negotiations that covered various provisions, including taxation and tribal water rights. The Passamaquoddy Tribe expressed particular concerns about poor water quality, as reported by the press.

Caesars and DraftKings will receive 40% of the revenues collected in Maine, while 50% will go to the tribes and 10% will be allocated as tax revenue to the state.

Under Maine’s sports betting law, individuals aged 21 and older are allowed to place bets. Resources for problem gambling can be accessed through the state helpline, 211 Maine, or by calling 1-800-GAMBLER.

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