Maine Sports Betting Handle Hits $5.4M in First Week

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Maine’s foray into legal sports betting has kicked off with a promising start.

After opening the market last week, the Department of Public Safety’s first weekly release reveals Maine sports betting fans wagered more than $5.4 million at the two online sportsbook operators currently available.

Out of the two, DraftKings and Caesars Entertainment, national market leader DraftKings took $4.7 million in bets. That accounts for 88% of all bets made over the opening week. From that handle, the two operators paid $116,000 in tax for the first week of operating.

The market is currently limited to online sportsbooks. BetMGM is planning to open Maine retail sports betting sometime soon at one of the state’s horse race betting tracks.

Dominance of DraftKings

DraftKings, the Boston-based operator that dominates the U.S. market alongside FanDuel, also emerged as the top player in the first week of Maine sports betting.

The platform reported a decent $4.7 million in revenue, constituting approximately 88% of all bets made in the state.

This overwhelming preference for DraftKings over its competitors underscores the brand’s strong market presence and the trust it has garnered among sports bettors.

It also held onto more of the total handle as revenue than its competitor. DraftKings had a hold of 25%, compared to Caesars’ 23%.

That hold is actually way above the national average of 7%. That could be reflected by Maine’s small population of probably less experienced sports bettors with no major sports teams to bet on.

That’s compared to, say, a national leading market like New York sports betting.

When compared to other states, Maine’s initial performance can be considered in context. For instance, New York, which also publishes weekly reports, saw a handle of $171.3 million in its first two days of the market in January 2022.

That translated to $8.7 per person based on the 2022 census. In contrast, Maine’s $2.1 million handle equates to $1.6 per person. This comparison, while illustrating the differences in scale, also highlights the robust start for Maine in the context of its population size.

Distribution of Tax Revenue

Maine has implemented a 10% tax on the adjusted gross revenue of online sportsbooks.

Operators must also pay 20% to 30% to Maine’s Tribes, who they had to partner with to launch in the state.

This requirement, alongside Maine’s smaller population size, has also contributed to their being only two sportsbook operators currently available.

The distribution of Maine’s gambling tax dollars supports various state initiatives. A portion of the revenue goes to the state’s Gambling Control Unit for adminstering the market.

Another goes to promote responsible gambling and support via the Gambling Addiction Prevention and Treatment Fund. Additionally, funds are allocated to the State Harness Racing Commission, the Sire Stakes Fund for Maine Standardbreds horses, and the Agricultural Fair Promotion Fund. The largest share, 6.5%, is directed to the state’s General Fund, contributing to broader state needs.

Maine’s initial success in sports betting indicates a promising future for this sector. If the market matures at a similar rate, it is looking at around $6 million in revenues for operators a month.

That is also not including any potential retail sportsbooks at the two Maine casino venues in Bangor and Oxford, which is now on the table. However, so far, no operator has made any concrete moves on that front.

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