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Maine Legal Sports Betting Officially Signed Into Law; What Happened And What’s Next?

Maine Governor Janet Mills

After many years of campaigns and discussions, state-licensed sportsbook options are making their way to Maine— indicating a massive win for bettors and prospective operators alike.

The news arrived on Monday when Gov. Janet Mills signed off on LD585. Her signature provided the green light gaming officials needed to initiate rulemaking and licensing procedures for legal sports betting in Maine.

Provisions For Legal Online Betting

The state’s two commercial casinos, as well as harness racing tracks, will soon hold the privilege of hosting in-person betting operations at their respective establishments.

However, the bill also includes provisions for legal mobile sportsbooks as operated by the Wabanaki Nations. The four tribes that comprise this group will each receive digital licensing privileges and will be able to collaborate with national brands like DraftKings and FanDuel.

The new legislation reflects efforts by the state to strengthen relations with local tribes. After signing the bill, Gov. Mills said this to reporters:

“I am proud of the work that the Wabanaki Nations and the State put into drafting this legislation, and I am grateful for the honest effort, the extensive research and the hundreds of hours of negotiations and discussions which bore fruit in this bill,”

Tribal inclusion in the local gambling market has been a long time coming. At the moment, the Wabanaki Nations do not have any assets in the industry.

This is only one of many distinctions that make up the legal sports betting state’s complex relationship with its local tribes.

Rectifying Maine’s Tribal Slight

Maine has a unique situation with its tribes in which native lands are still within the state’s legal jurisdiction. Unlike other states, federally recognized tribes do not have sovereignty protections against state policing and taxation.

While the signing of LD585 is a historic step in the right direction, it doesn’t solve the issues of tribal sovereignty. Another bill proposed in this session aimed to put Maine’s tribes on par with those in other states.

The measure hasn’t arrived at the Governor’s desk yet, having stalled without action in the legislature. Nonetheless, supporters hope that the bill will be reconsidered when the chambers reconvene on May 9th.

In a statement last week, tribal leaders said the following:

“Permanent sovereignty restoration remains the legislative priority for the Wabanaki Nations, and it will continue to be our priority moving forward,”

Headed Towards Wider Horizons

Maine’s latest sports betting law will swiftly change the gambling landscape as players know it. The arrival of legal online sportsbooks will generate new revenue at both the state and local levels.

However, it may be a while before bettors can relish the fruits of this new legislation. In the meantime, sports fans get in on the action before the statewide launch.

Offshore online sportsbook sites are a legal and effective means of setting wagers on your favorite teams and events. For more information, head over to our betting how-to guides for everything you need to know before getting started.

Source: News Center Maine

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