Sports betting goes live in Maine

Sports Betting

The legislation was signed by Gov. Janet Mills in May of 2022 and officially became law on Aug. 2, 2022. Following a public hearing in January and a public comment period that concluded last month, final rules were submitted to the Maine Attorney General’s Office for legal review and adoption in November.

The Maine Department of Public Safety announced earlier this week that sports betting would go live on Friday.

Milt Champion, director of Maine’s Gambling Control Unit, had released the proposed rules for gambling in January, and said at the time that it was important to move slowly to get it right.

Mills gave control of the mobile and online sports betting market to Maine’s Native American tribes, providing an olive branch after her veto threat scuttled their proposal for greater sovereignty. 

The Wabanaki Tribes were granted full access to mobile gaming rights, according to News Center Maine, which makes up the majority of the sports betting market. Three of the tribes partnered with Caesars Sportsbook. Just a few hours after this week’s “go-live” announcement, DraftKings announced it had entered an agreement with the Passamaquoddy Tribe.

Mobile and online wagering is expected to account for 85% of the sports betting market in Maine, providing a conduit for revenue for the tribes. Residents will also be able to place in-person wagers at the state’s two casinos and a number of off-track betting facilities. The Cumberland Fairgrounds also secured a gaming license, but many of the retail locations are not expected to be ready to take bets on Friday.

Sports betting in Maine is expected to generate between $3.8 million and $6.9 million in revenue for the state, on top of $64 million from casinos and other legal gambling in 2022, Champion has said.