Maine lawmakers vote on legalizing sports betting
The Maine House has voted to legalize sports betting. The focus now shifts to the Senate, the Governor, and the native tribes of the state. If Maine lawmakers decide to legalize sports betting, it will be a significant shock to sports betting investment, which may help industry stocks rise in the short term and also through posterity.
The Maine House of Representatives took a step in the right direction by voting to legalize sports betting. However, there are questions about whether residents of the state will be able to bet on sports, as the Governor of Maine previously refused to sign the sports betting legislation after it was passed by the state Congress.
Maine’s sports betting bill approved by the state House of Representatives would allow race tracks and casinos to create in-person sports betting opportunities while reserving mobile space for Native American tribes. Currently Maine has only two casinos in Oxford Casino Oxford and Bangor’s Hollywood Casino.
The state also has several horse racing tracks in Scarborough’s Bangor Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway and Scarborough Downs. The bill in question would empower each of these racetracks to operate retail sports betting markets.
The tribal question
As noted above, the sports betting bill would give state tribes the power to control the mobile sports betting market. There is a good argument to be made that the mobile sports betting market is more profitable than the in-person sports betting market because most bets are placed on the web in states where sports betting has been legalized.
What will the Senate do?
The state senate is currently debating the legislation. If the Senate passes the legislation, it will go to Governor Mills for signature. However, it is possible that pressure from Maine’s native tribes for sovereignty will prevent the bill from passing.
The wording of the bill is attractive to the state’s casinos and racetracks because it sets the stage for them to offer sports betting opportunities to retail customers. However, tribal leaders prefer the bill to be replaced with one that grants them sovereignty that was lost in a settlement dating back to the 1980s.
A separate bill that provides for tribal sovereignty was passed by the state House of Representatives, but this bill did not receive support from the governor. Mills prefers the sports betting bill to pass as opposed to the tribal sovereignty bill. In other words, this block has the potential to prevent the legalization of sports betting in Maine.
Will the long wait come to an end?
Although there are signs that residents of Maine will soon be able to bet on sports legally, it should be noted that they have waited two long years for such an opportunity. Come back in 2021 and 2020 and the state congress passed bills legalizing sports betting just for them do not to be enacted following the opposition of Governor Mills. However, now that the pandemic is on the wane, Mills may be more inclined to focus on striking a deal with the state’s native tribes, paving the way for sports gambling to be legalized by the end. of the year.
Stay tuned as additional details on the potential legalization of sports betting in Maine will likely arrive in the days and weeks to come.