Online sports betting took a major step in the Lumber State on Tuesday.
The Maine Gambling Control Unit (MGCU) showed some love by posting Provisional Sports Wagering applications on its website. The four applications, now available for completion and submission, are: Business Entity, Personal History Disclosure form, Employee form and a Combo form.
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On Jan. 11, the MGCU unveiled to the public a 56-page document detailing proposed rules for sports wagering in the state.
While in the rulemaking process, applications can be submitted and background investigations will be completed to prepare for issuance of licenses when rules finally become adopted.
Currently, the proposed rules are open for written comment until March 3. The public comment sessions began Jan 31. Once those have been discussed and completed, the MGCU can begin the process of approving retail and mobile sports betting providers.
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Process Underway in Maine Since August
Maine sports betting was adopted by the state legislature and went into effect in August 2022, but the state took its time to get the rules right and then submit them to the public. The state did so last month.
It is expected the first live wagers can’t be placed until sometime between April 2023 and January 2024, but that could be moved up if all items have been completed, approved and implemented.
Mobile and online wagering are expected to account for 85% of the sports betting market in Maine, providing a conduit for revenue. The tribes in the state will get about half of the earnings from sports wagering with different entities such as the state’s General Fund, management service companies and others getting smaller percentages.
Each tribe can select its own vendor, meaning there could be up to four licenses for the Penobscot Nation, Passamaquoddy tribes at Indian Township and Pleasant Point, Houlton Band of Maliseets and Mi’kmaq.
The state’s existing casinos in Bangor and Oxford also can request licenses, along with off-track betting (OTB) parlors. A potential of 14 total licenses could be issued, which would likely include many of the major national sports betting apps.
In the New England region, New Hampshire, Connecticut and Rhode Island all have sports betting in operation. Massachusetts just launched retail sportsbooks on Jan. 31, with mobile sports betting coming March 10 — that includes DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook.