On Monday, Maine lawmakers said they will need some more time before allowing sports betting in the state. The Legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs committee voted on Monday to kill several sports betting bills, except one.
Senator Louis Luchini said that the committee will need some more time to go through complex issues that will be raised with allowing for legal sports betting.
The bill that lawmakers did not throw out is known as LD 553. It is a “concept bill” that will allow the committee to build their own sports betting framework. The bill is sponsored by Luchini and is also known as “An Act To Ensure Proper Oversight of Sports Betting in the State”. The proposal has no nothing in it at all about when or how the state will include legal sports betting.
The bill only states:
- This bill is a concept draft pursuant to Joint Rule 208.
- This bill proposes to ensure proper oversight of sports betting.
The reason that the bill was not thrown out along with the rest of the sports betting bills is that it gives VLA the opportunity to piece together their own comprehensive sports wagering bill. It is unknown what specifics will be included in the bill, but co-sponsor of the bill and VLA member Scott Strom (R-106) dropped some key hints.
Strom’s statement to CBS seems to imply that the state will be looking to partner up with FanDuel and DraftKings and that mobile betting may be an option as well.
“It’s going to provide more money for the casinos, for the off-track gambling places,” Strom said to CBS. “We will get revenue from the online sources DraftKings and FanDuel. They will be providing like a state income tax for this. So my hope is that we will just collect that money and put it into the general fund and we’ll be able to use it to provide some good services to the state.”
A total of six bills were killed off on Monday, three of which were directly related to single-game wagering, LD 1348 “An Act To Authorize Sports Betting”, LD 1515 “An Act To Allow Sports Wagering In Maine”, and LD 1571 “An Act To Establish the Exclusive Right of the Federally Recognized Indian Tribes in the State To Conduct All Sports Betting in Maine”.
Although these bills were all thrown out, they all provide more in-depth details on specifics that will most likely be included in the final sports betting bill. Some examples are allowing for sports wagering on tribal lands, opening sports betting lounges in the state, and online/mobile wagering. Potential licensing fees could range from $2,000 to $100,000, with annual renewal fees.
Maine lawmakers expect sports wagering to generate upwards of $800,000 per year in tax revenue. Even if the state finds a way to legalize sports betting before the end of the current session, it is unlikely that Maine will see legal sports betting in 2019.