Friday Marks the Launch of Sports Betting in Maine


Posted on: November 2, 2023, 02:35h. 

Last updated on: November 2, 2023, 02:35h.

Legal sports betting in Maine set to launch this weekend after new regulations approved.

A sign welcomes visitors to Maine. Mobile sporstsbooks in Maine will begin operating this Friday. (Photo by
Road Travel America via Creative Commons)

The Maine Department of Public Safety Gambling Control Unit has released the new sports wagering rules, allowing sportsbooks to start accepting bets on Friday, Nov. 3, at 9 a.m.

 

A list of eligible events for betting will be available on the department’s website on Friday morning, according to Executive Director Milton Champion.

Approval of the new rules follows the signing of Maine’s sports betting law by Governor Janet Mills 18 months ago. Maine now joins over three dozen states that have embraced legal sports betting since the 2018 Supreme Court ruling.

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

The launch of the market comes after a comprehensive review by the Gambling Control Unit, a small agency with three full-time employees. During the review process, over 600 comments were submitted on the proposed rules.

Caesar’s, DraftKings Ready to Launch

The majority of sports bets in Maine are expected to be placed online, in line with the national trend. Mobile sportsbooks are predicted to account for approximately 85% of sports bets in the state.

Maine legalized sports betting to provide 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 partnered with the tribes to offer mobile sports betting platforms in Maine.

Caesars Sportsbook has partnered with the Penobscot, Maliseet, and Micmac nations to manage their sports betting operations.

This week, DraftKings announced its partnership with the Passamaquoddy Tribe.

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

The law also allows for 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 with Tribes

Supporting the economic growth of the four tribes was a key focus behind Maine’s decision to legalize sports betting. These tribes were acknowledged under a 1980 law that provided them with narrower rights compared to other Native American tribes, including gaming opportunities.

Sports betting legislation underwent extensive negotiations over various provisions, including taxation and tribal water rights, to reach its passing last year. The Passamaquoddy Tribe, in particular, has emphasized the importance of addressing poor water quality, according to press reports.

Caesars and DraftKings will retain 40% of the revenues collected in Maine, with 50% going to the tribes and 10% in tax revenue for the state.

Maine’s sports betting law allows anyone aged 21 or older to place bets. Resources for problem gambling can be accessed via the state helpline, 211 Maine, or by calling 1-800-GAMBLER.

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