For the second time, sports betting in Maine is a signature away from legalization as it heads to Gov. Janet Mills‘s desk.
LD 585 was taken off the Appropriations Table Monday morning, the final step needed before Mills can approve it. Both the House and Senate passed the bill last Tuesday.
Advancing past the table was an important milestone since that is where legislation to legalize sports betting in Maine failed last year despite passage from both chambers.
Mills expected to sign Maine sports betting bill
Sports betting is just one part of LD 585, which is a larger bill concerning tribal sovereignty. It creates three mobile sports betting licenses in the state, one for each of the federally recognized tribes in the state. There are 10 retail sports betting licenses available for casinos, tracks and OTBs.
Mills used the mobile exclusivity as a bargaining chip in negotiations, which is why her signature is expected.
Mills did not approve of LD 1352, the legislation passed by both chambers last year and left on the Appropriations Table. That gave mobile licenses to both tribal and commercial entities.
Not the first trip to governor’s desk
Nothing is certain until Mills puts her signature on the bill, though.
The governor vetoed a sports betting bill in 2019. Mills said she was unconvinced the majority of Maine residents wanted legal sports betting while citing other odd reasoning about betting on spelling bees and local elections in her veto letter.
Should she sign as expected, though, that means only two states will be left without legal sports betting in New England:
More details on ME bill
Maine will tax sports betting revenue at 10%, though that is not on gross revenue. Maine will allow promotions and federal excise tax payments to be deducted from taxable revenue.
All licenses are good for four years, with mobile licenses costing $200,000 while retail licenses will cost just $4,000. Supplier licenses and management service licenses will cost $40,000 each.
There is no betting on Maine colleges, though betting on tournaments those schools are involved in is allowed.