Maine’s statehouses have passed LD553, and the bill currently is waiting on the Governor’s signature.
It was finally settled that Maine’s sports gambling bill known as LD 553 would only allow patrons 21 years of age or older to legally bet on sports. While professional and collegiate sports wagering is permitted, the bill specifically prohibits betting on any Maine college teams no matter where the event is taking place. LD 553 has had a long battle with legislators, finally passing both the House and Senate on June 18th and the following day was marked “passed to be enacted” and on its way to Governor Janet Mills.
Many were unsure of LD 553’s details before it reached the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee. However, the changes made to the bill then after allowed for its success by both statehouses. If signed by the Governor, LD 553 will enable online and in-person sports wagering.
Under LD 553, sports betting in Maine will have a free-market approach not requiring online operators such as FanDuel, DraftKings, and numerous others to be tethered to a brick and mortar establishment.
Eleven gaming venues will be permitted to apply for an on-site sports betting license, these venues include currently licensed casinos and racetracks such as the Hollywood Casino in Bangor, Scarborough Downs Racetrack, Oxford Casino, casinos run by the state’s four federally recognized native tribes, and four OTB facilities in Sanford, Brunswick, Waterville, and Lewiston.
Sports gambling revenue will be taxed differently based on whether operations are on-site or through online and mobile means. Brick and mortar sports betting will be taxed at 10% while mobile sports wagers will be taxed at 16%. Licenses for sports gambling will cost $20,000 annually, and according to a fiscal note attached to the bill, the state expects to receive $1.9 million in revenue in its first year with expectations of $5.6 million in revenue by year four.
Under Maine’s LD 553, the Gambling Control Unit in Maine would be the sole regulatory of domestic sports gambling activities. With the proposed tax structure for sports betting, the Gambling Control Unit would receive 2% while the other 98% of the tax revenue will be allocated to the state’s General Fund.