Crafting New Maine Sports Betting Rules Is Moving At Snail’s Pace

Written By Nicholaus Garcia on July 13, 2022 - Last Updated on August 5, 2022
crafting Maine sports betting rules is moving slowly

Now that the dust has settled, state regulators in Maine can proceed with crafting rules and regulations to govern sports betting. However, the expansion of gambling in the Pine Tree State might be slow moving. 

Milton Champion, the executive director of the Maine Gambling Control Unit, said his team is busy working on rules to govern Maine sports betting. However, he is hesitant to pick an official launch date.

The new law, which allows the state’s four federally recognized tribes to operate sports betting, goes into effect on August 2.

According to the executive director, much of the proposed rules will have a similar DNA to other US gambling markets. As for potential operators, local tribes can operate their own sports betting platforms or partner with established operators. Some names include FanDuel and BetMGM.

The outlook for Maine sports betting in 2022 looks grim

“Hopefully, by the end of the year, I can get something out there. It’ll be some sort of public hearing, then it’s going to be what pushback I get and how much of the proposed text is OK,” Champion said.

Champion’s comments aren’t reassuring for those hoping for NFL season betting in 2022. In May, Champion told LSR there is a possibility sports betting might not happen until 2024. 

“I hate to be disappointing to people, but I’d rather be realistic and then roll them out in six to eight months and have people happy because we did it so quick.” 

Maine commercial betting is a no-go

In May, Gov. Janet Mills signed LD 585 into law. The bill comes with a 10% tax on betting revenue and allows operators to deduct promotions and federal excise tax payments. There are also 10 retail licenses for casinos, horse tracks, and off-track betting facilities. 

“This law provides meaningful economic opportunities for the Wabanaki Nations. It incentivizes investment in Tribal communities, and it formalizes a collaboration process on policy that sets the foundation for a stronger relationship in the future,” Mills said.

Licenses details for retail sports betting applicants include:

  • $200,000 for a 4yr mobile license
  • $4,000 for a 4yr retail license

As for the state’s two commercial operators, Penn National Gaming and Churchill Downs, the bill prohibits them from operating mobile betting. The pair can launch retail sportsbooks at Hollywood Casino and Raceway (Penn National) and Oxford Casino (Churchill Downs).

Photo by Anton Petrus / Shutterstock.com
Nicholaus Garcia Avatar
Written by
Nicholaus Garcia

Nick has had stints in Chicago and Washington, D.C., writing about politics, financial markets, and sports betting. He graduated from Texas Tech University and completed his master's degree in journalism at Columbia College Chicago.

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