Maine sports betting will have to wait at least another year.
2021 state legislative session adjourned Monday with sports betting legislation is still Credit table, the committee that examines bills that make or cost the state money.
Inertia means that the ME sports betting effort is dead until next year’s session.
What happened to ME sports betting?
Bill LD1352 was approved by Maine House twice and sent to the credit table in early July. However, there he stalled.
Local sources suggested the bill’s sponsor, Senator Louis Luchini, was not entirely behind due to the tether requirement. Luchini had previously spoken out against the final bill because of this requirement for mobile licensees to partner with local gaming points.
“The tie is bad for our voters,” Luchini said in June. “It’s anti-competitive. This makes the casinos the gatekeepers to those who will be able to operate in Maine. “
However, the bill was passed with the tie intact.
Has Zoom hurt sports betting efforts?
Milton Champion, the general manager of the Maine Gaming Control Unit, said the lack of face-to-face meetings was the main reason the 2021 effort failed.
“He just didn’t have the punch this year,” said Champion. “I never felt there was the same interest as last year and that was due to the pandemic in my opinion.”
Champion, however, was positive for 2022, saying some key issues had been addressed.
“It’s like a statue,” he said. “You reduce it every year and ultimately get a finished product. It’s a matter of when, not if, for Maine sports betting.
A murky future for ME sports betting
Having said that, the tether problem is not going to go away. The powerful lobby of the local casino, including Penn National, is strongly pro-tether.
Penn said last year that he supported ME sports betting only for those who had “invested hundreds of millions of dollars in the state.” But now it looks like the main supporters of online sports betting are strongly opposed to the tie-up.
This is even before an invoice arrives at Governor Janet Mills, which has vetoed sports betting legislation in the past.
Bad news for the Maine tax offices
Meanwhile, Maine’s failure is from New Hampshire – and DraftKings‘- Gain. Maine bettors will continue to cross the border to place bets in the NH.
Additionally, other areas of New England are also making headway in betting.
Massachusetts take into account sports betting legislation this week, while Connecticut is also moving forward with legalization.
Neighbour Canada also fair repealed its ban on sports betting on a single match.
All of this means that the Mainers will continue to place bets, but other regions will benefit from the tax benefits.