Sports betting is a hot topic of debate in several states across the US as more and more lawmakers begin to see the benefits of the industry. Maine is the latest to join the party, with LD 553 moving through legislature this week. The bill now needs to undergo a final vote in the House and Senate in order to be sent to the desk of Governor Janet Mills.
The legislature is set to adjourn today and the hope is that the bill will move forward. If the state is able to pass the measure, they will join fellow New England states such as New Hampshire and Rhode Island in offering services.
Details of the Bill
For sports betting in Maine, the framework includes a competitive marketplace. Retail and online sports betting can take place via eleven gambling properties in the state. There are currently two casinos in operation, one racetrack, four off-track betting venues and four tribal operated casinos. Each of these entities would have the right to offer online as well as land-based sports betting.
The tax rate would be tiered. Retail outlet revenues would be taxed at 10% while online revenues would be taxed slightly higher at 16%. For licensing, operators must pay $20,000 each year. Like other states in the US, Maine has not included an integrity fee. Sports leagues have tried to keep their hand in the honey pot so to speak and earn additional cash for maintaining the integrity of games, though that is their job anyway. Maine will not be offering this fee to the sports leagues.
It has been projected that as much as $1.9 million would be earned during the first year via sports betting for the state. By year four, that number is to grow to around $5.6 million.
Push to Pass
In the East, there has been a push for sports betting. Other states like Maine are feeling the pressure as New Jersey is so successful as well as other states like Pennsylvania, West Virginia, New York and Delaware offering services. To stay in competition in the region, it is important to get a jump on the industry.
A push has really been seen across the board when it comes to sports betting. Mississippi, Arkansas and Tennessee are the southern states to pass legislation. Illinois and Indiana are midwestern states that passed legislation this year.
Sports betting has taken over as the new form of popular gambling expansion in the United States. A few years ago, talk centered around online poker and casino gaming. Now, it seems states are hoping to rely more on sports betting as a way to bring in new revenues.
For Maine, legislation has moved fairly quickly. A proposal was made in January and then moved on to an amended version that was moved out of committee this week. The two chambers have moved fast, getting straight to work to reviewing the measure.
The House used a verbal vote while the Senate took a roll call to verify the close vote in favor, of 19 to 15. Now the bill will be voted on yet again and hopefully it will be able to move forward so one more state will be set to offer sports betting in a legalized fashion.