Maine is set to become the 16th U.S. state to legalize sports betting since the annulment of the 1992 PAPSA Rule last year.
On Tuesday, both chambers of the state’s legislature agreed to advance a bill that would allow on-site and mobile sports wagering in the jurisdiction. The bill, L.D. 553, received final passage in the Senate yesterday, and it is now on its way to Gov. Janet T. Mills’ desk.
If ratified, the regulation will authorize 11 locations across the state to offer sports betting services to anyone located within the precinct as long as they are 21 years or older. These locations include Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway at Bangor, Oxford Casino, Scarborough Downs Racetrack, four tribal casinos, and four OTB locations.
Maine sports wagering will be regulated by the Gambling Control Unit, which is incorporated under the Department of Public Safety.
Legislators endorse free market for mobile licensees
Unlike some states like New Jersey, Maine will not require online sportsbooks like DraftKings and FanDuel to be licensed through land-based operators. This means that companies that don’t have a physical presence in the jurisdiction could still be authorized to operate independently.
Speaking about the issue, Sen. Louis Luchini said that it is strange to write laws that require a new business to come into the state only if they tether to existing licensees. The Senator added that there’s no requirement for Airbnb to tether to existing hotels or Amazon to local grocery stores.
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The other remarkable thing about the bill is that it does not limit the number of online sportsbooks that will be allowed to operate in the state.
Crunching the numbers
L.D. 553 is one of the friendliest sports betting bills in the country with respect to taxes and license fees.
Under the legislation, retail sportsbook operators will pay an initial license fee of $2,000 to the Gambling Control Unit to be allowed to offer sports betting services in Maine. For online operators, the initial license fee will be $20,000.
These licenses will be valid for two years, after which the operators will be required to renew their permits at the same cost.
When it comes to taxes, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks will remit 10 percent of their adjusted gross sports betting revenue to the regulatory body every month. The monthly taxes for online sportsbooks will be 16 percent of the adjusted gross revenue. Part of the money will be used to treat people with gambling addictions.
Maine sports betting legislation will not compel licensees to pay integrity fees to the sports leagues. Also, the bill does not have a mandate for official league data.
What else is in the bill?
If L.D. 553 is enacted, sports betting enthusiasts in Maine will be allowed to place wagers on professional sports competitions as well as some collegiate sporting events.
However, bettors will not be able to wager on college teams located within the jurisdiction, even if the event takes place outside of the state.
In addition, betting on Daily Fantasy Sports will continue to be legal in the precinct.