Maine’s legislative session is running full tilt with an adjournment date set for June 29th, and now, regional constituents are facing the real possibility of domestic sportsbook options in the very near future.
Legal sports betting in Maine appears to be very much on the minds of lawmakers in the Pine Tree State, as three bills are currently moving through the legislative process
LD1404 is the bill that outlines how ME sportsbooks will operate, but most of the language is open-ended, with many decisions left to be made by the governing bodies. One item that has been made crystal clear is that bettors will need to be at least 21 years of age in order to place a bet on sports.
There is also a specific mention of betting on eSports, suggesting that sports gamblers in Maine can expect to see betting lines involving the top gamers and best video game software.
Betting on high school sports, or any other sport that involves competitors that fall under the age of 18, will not be allowed as a betting option at ME sportsbooks.
Also landing on the list of prohibited betting activities are NCAA games that include Maine-based colleges and universities. This will not likely cause much of a shortfall in state collected tax dollars because most of the action is expected to be generated by out of state sports teams and entities.
It seems that as each new state considers legalizing sports betting within their borders, they review the bill language of the territories that have preceded them. Legal sports betting in Wyoming now includes eSports, and due to its growing popularity, we expect it to expand to other regions.
One unique provision in LD1404 that we’ve yet to encounter in another state’s language is an allowance for the “Interception of sports wagering winnings to pay child support debt.”
Based on the fee schedule for domestic operators, bettors in Maine can expect in-person sportsbooks as well as downloadable mobile betting apps to be available.
With any luck, legal sportsbooks in Portland, Maine could be accepting bets in time for the 2021 NFL season, but before bettors in ME start gearing up to lay some action on pro football and other popular sports across the globe, they may want to hedge their expectations.
These bills, while promising, have yet to receive approval from either the House or Senate, and even if they do, further regulation and consideration will be required before any domestic books are able to start taking wagers within ME.
While local bettors wait for these regulations to pass or fail, offshore sports betting sites are able to offer their services to area gamblers right now. This will remain the case even after domestic sportsbooks open their doors to Maine customers.
Because Maine has decided to enforce a minimum age of 21 to partake in legal sports betting, international sportsbook sites will still intice regional patrons to do business with them because they allow for members to join at 18 years old.
The benefactors will be the citizens of Maine, because within a few months of this writing, they could be experiening a wealth of in-person, mobile, and offshore sports betting options.
Source: Maine Legislature