Maine Becomes First State to Legalize Sports Betting in 2022

Spread the Word:

Maine has become the first state to legalize sports betting in 2022 after the governor signed into law a bill to that effect on Monday.

LD 585 would give exclusive mobile sports betting to the state’s four tribes.

The Maine sports betting law bars the state’s two land-based casinos – owned by Churchill Downs Inc. and Penn National Gaming – from offering online sports betting. However, the casinos can offer in-person sports wagering.

The law goes into effect 90 days after the legislative session ends.

Maine lawmakers approved LD 585 in the waning hours of April 19 – a day before the final day of the 2022 legislative session.

It comes roughly a year after another sports wagering bill had cleared both chambers last year before it was left unattended on the appropriations table. LD 1352 would have allowed mobile sports betting to both tribes and commercial operators.

The successful bill was the culmination of the governor’s efforts to bring about a bittersweet compromise with the state’s Native American tribes.

“Most Significant Tribal Bill in Decades”

Mills hailed the new law as the most significant tribal bill in decades, saying it provides “meaningful economic opportunities” for the Wabanaki Nations – a collective term for the state’s tribes.

The governor added that LD 585 would incentivize investment in tribal communities, besides formalizing a collaboration process on a policy that sets the foundation for a deeper relationship in the future.

The Wabanaki Nations or Confederacy will use the revenue from mobile sports betting to fund education, healthcare, and infrastructure projects. The tribes will also be able to partner with mobile operators such as FanDuel, DraftKings, and BetMGM.

LD 585 almost mirrors what the governor had negotiated with the state’s tribes, though it runs short of a greater tribal sovereignty bill that the Wabanaki Nations had called for.

What’s Next?

The Maine sports betting law, which becomes effective in 90 days, does not give a launch date. Ideally, sports betting could start in the Pine Tree State as early as July. However, it looks unlikely that the Maine Gambling Control Unit could prepare rules by the NFL season.

The Maine bettors have a more realistic chance to see legal betting on the Super Bowl.

With little gaming experience, the Wabanaki Tribes have yet to decide whether they would like to partner with major operators or create their own mobile platforms.

There are an additional 10 retail licenses for casinos, racetracks, and off-track wagering facilities.

Sports betting revenue will be taxed at 10% under the law. Mobile licenses will be charged $200,000 for a period of four years, and a retail license for the same period is only $4,000.

How Have We Reached Here?

2022 is not the first time Maine lawmakers tried to legalize sports betting. Efforts had been made immediately after the Supreme Court struck down the PASPA in May 2018. However, despite considerable support in the legislature, Maine sports betting took years to reach the finishing line.

LD 585 is a complete turnaround from a competitive sports betting bill that was legalized by both chambers in 2019.

Mills vetoed that bill in 2020. Even though the Maine legislature approved another open and competitive bill in 2021, the Democratic governor used sports betting as a political tool to negotiate with the state’s tribes.

Maine’s tribes don’t enjoy the same sort of sovereignty their counterparts enjoy in the other parts of the country. Mills did not sign a bill that would have granted the tribes that sovereignty. Instead, she offered them exclusive mobile betting.

The Wabanaki Nations – Maliseet, Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, and Mi’kmaq – said in a statement that the long-term goal continues to be full sovereignty.

Related News

November 22, 2019

Maine Legal Gambling Guide

Best Maine Online Gambling Sites & Apps Maine used to be an anti-gambling state, but the political climate around games of chance changed in the noughties as new gambling-friendly regulations […]

read more
Maine sports betting
April 19, 2022

Maine Legislature to Vote on Rival Sports Betting Bills This Week

The Maine Legislature must agree on a sports betting bill by April 20 to give legalized sports betting a chance this year. The state’s House and Senate advanced two rival […]

read more
Maine sports betting
May 16, 2021

Maine Senate Committee Hears Sports Betting Testimony

Maine lawmakers began hearing process Friday to consider legalizing sports betting that delayed by two years thanks to governor’s veto. The Senate Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs held its […]

read more
Maine sports betting
April 23, 2022

Maine Sports Betting Bill Heads to Governor

The Maine Senate finally passed the sports betting bill, 23-11, late Tuesday night, sending it to the governor to sign into law. The House, which had advanced LD 585 last […]

read more
Maine sports betting
July 22, 2021

Maine Sports Betting Misses 2021 Despite Serious Efforts

Maine sports betting is not coming this year too despite significant developments that saw the legislation passing through most of the stages. The state’s 2021 legislative session adjourned Monday, with […]

read more
November 20, 2019

Maine Charitable Gaming Laws

17 § 311. Definitions As used in this chapter, unless the context otherwise indicates, the following words shall have the following meanings. 1. Beano . “Beano” means a specific kind […]

read more
Maine sports betting
April 13, 2021

Maine Sports Betting Bill Revives Year After its Unusual Death

Legal sports betting is ready to assert itself for the second time in Maine a year after the last attempt was stifled by Gov. Janet Mills. Again, it’s Sen. Louis […]

read more
Maine sports betting
March 18, 2022

Maine Sports Betting Bill Heads to Legislature

Maine crossed a critical barrier this Wednesday when a legislative committee passed a bill that could finally bring sports betting in the state. The Judiciary Committee managed to approve Gov. […]

read more
May 30, 2019

Maine’s Sports Betting Bill Clears Key Committee Vote

Following a meeting of the Maine Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs on Friday, yet another state is on the verge of sports betting legalization. Per reporting […]

read more
Maine sports betting
June 19, 2021

Maine Sports Betting Bill Revives On Session’s Last Day

Three amendments were filed to revive the Maine sports betting bill hours before the current legislative session was set to adjourn Wednesday. The Senate will reportedly extend its session in […]

read more
November 18, 2019

Maine Gambling Laws

Maine Revised Statutes define gambling as “staking or risking something of value on the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event, with the intent to receive […]

read more
Maine sports betting
June 21, 2021

Will Maine Governor Sign Sports Betting Bill This Time?

Maine Legislature has finally approved a sports betting bill disowned by its own sponsor and rejected earlier by the governor. On Friday, Gov. Janet Mills received LD 1352, which the […]

read more

Stay Updated & Receive Exclusive Offers

Be the first to know when new states legalize online gambling and gain access to exclusive casino and sports betting promotional offers.