Online Gambling in
Maine

The latest attempt to legalize sports betting in the Pine State was vetoed in January 2020. This means, for now, sports betting in Maine is dead in the water.

Maine

There are currently no legal online gambling options in ME

Online sports betting in Maine

It looked as if sports betting in Maine was on for a hole in one. But sometimes even the sweetest of shots are bound for the bunker.

And that’s where bill LD 553 will stay until at least the beginning of 2020 when a decision will be made one way or another as to the fate of the proposed law.

For the time being, sports wagering remains off-limits for Mainers.

Read on for the very latest regarding sports betting in Maine and what’s included in the proposed framework.

What’s the situation with sports betting in Maine?

Despite little opposition to bill LD 553, which was passed in June incidentally, plans to install legal sports betting ahead of the upcoming NFL season have been firmly kicked into touch.

The bill which, on the face of it, appeared to be a win-win for everyone involved - sports fans would be able to wager on sports both safely and legally and the state would receive a cash injection from taxes and licencing fees - required just a signature from governor Janet Mills to officially become law.

But concerns about expanding gambling in The Pine Tree state prevented Mills from putting pen to paper, leaving sports fans in Maine resigned to missing out on the chance to wager on a brand new sports season getting underway in September.

It does the beg the question as to how and why the bill got this far; if there was unease about how the industry would impact ME, why weren’t the necessary adjustments made.

When is the industry likely to be launched?

Whilst hugely disappointing, the fact the bill wasn’t vetoed, means the door remains ajar for legal sports betting in Maine.

If Mills decides not to trash the bill within three days of the next legislature session (thought to be in January) the bill will become law, regardless if she puts pen to paper or not.

For the time being though, sports betting in Maine is against the law.

Sports betting ME - The Maine points

So near, yet so far. But there’s still cause for optimism in Augusta when the industry does eventually cross the line.

The framework will allow in-person and mobile wagering via the state’s 11 designated properties - one racetrack, two casinos, four off-track betting sites and four tribal casinos, two of which are believed to apply for mobile-only licences only.

Online/mobile operators will not require a physical presence in the state

Refreshingly, online/mobile operators will not require a physical presence in the state under the terms of Bill LD 553, believed to be one of the best pieces of legislation created due to its ‘free market’ approach.

The industry is set to be regulated by The Maine Department of Public Safety’s Gambling Control Unit who currently oversee the casino and DFS industries.

  • Minimum age to bet: 21 years
  • Retail wagers taxed at 16%, mobile wagers at 10%
  • Betting on college athletics permitted
  • Wagering prohibited on any event in which any ME collegiate sports teams participate
  • Online gambling license fee: $20,000

Maine sportsbooks

Unlike other states, online operators would not be required to partner with brick-and-mortar establishments in ME.

As a result, Mainers can look forward to wagering at some of the best sportsbooks on the market.

Among a stellar line-up, expect the likes of DraftKings, FanDuel, William Hill, playMGM and PointsBet to put roots down in The Pine Tree State.

Sports teams of Maine

The state is home to three professional teams, albeit none of which feature in the major leagues.

The Maine Mariners, created in 2017 following the relocation of the Portland Pirates to Massachusetts twelve months prior, compete in the East Coast Hockey League (ECHL).

Portland Sea Dogs are a minor league baseball team affiliated with Boston Red Sox. The Sea Dogs for whom home is Hadlock Field play in the Eastern Division.

Also affiliated to a Boston team is the Maine Red Claws who represent the state in the NBA G league. Three successive division titles between 2015 and 2017 is a respectable return for a side which only debuted in 2009.

The Maine Black Bears carry the name of the University of Maine. 17 teams (eight men’s & seven women’s) participate across a total of ten sports sanctioned by the NCAA.