Nothing ever comes easily in Maine sports betting, it seems.
Bills must go through two votes in each chamber in Maine. On Wednesday, sports betting bill LD1352 was approved for the second time by the House.
Maine sports betting bill moving again
On Thursday, it was considered by the Appropriations Table, a committee which reviews bills that make or cost the state money.
Then it goes back to the full Senate for a final vote.
Having already passed the Senate once, this should be a formality, local sources told LSR.
Governor still a potential stumbling block
The more daunting hurdle is Gov. Janet Mills, who vetoed a 2019 sports betting bill.
Mills will have 10 days to sign the bill from when it lands on her desk.
Reasons for optimism
There is some optimism that Mills could change her tune for the 2021 Maine sports betting effort.
For one, the 2021 legislation includes tethering, requiring mobile licensees to partner with local gambling outlets.
That means the state’s casinos, tracks, tribes and OTBs are on board, unlike last time.
Tiny tweaks could go a long way
Similarly, bill sponsor Sen. Louis Luchini said he had been working closely with the governor’s office throughout the legislative process.
His bill included clauses to allay previous concerns about advertising to children, for example.
Keeping up with the Joneses
The success of nearby New Hampshire sports betting is another positive factor. State politicians do not like seeing their citizens’ tax dollars get harvested by rival states.
Neighboring Canada also just repealed its ban on single-game sports betting this week.
What else is in the Maine sports betting bill?
- License fees are $100,000 for two years.
- Brick and mortar sportsbooks would be taxed at 10%.
- Online bets would be taxed at 16%.