The Gambling Control Unit (MGCU) of Maine has announced the impending introduction of regulated sports betting, with the launch anticipated to take place in November. This is exciting news for sports fans in Maine.
The launch window is tentatively scheduled between November 5 and 15. The MGCU has been actively working to complete the sports betting regulatory framework. The state’s attorney general is presently studying the pertinent rules to make sure compliance.
“Once they’ve approved it, then I will forward it to the Secretary of State’s office. They typically take three to five business days, and then once [the Secretary of State’s office] posts the adopted rules on their website, then we go live,” explained Milt Champion, executive director of MGCU.
Licensing and Partnerships
Following approval from the Attorney General, MGCU will start granting operating licenses to qualified candidates. Physical wagering will be permitted at casinos and off-track betting locations, but only the four federally recognized Native American tribes in the state will have control over internet sports betting. Two big sportsbooks, Caesars and BetMGM, have already established relationships with tribes, indicating their willingness to compete in the sports betting industry in Maine. These tribes have the power to collaborate with mobile providers.
Legislation that Governor Janet Mills signed into law in May 2022 opened the way for sports betting in Maine. On August 2 of the same year, the law went into force, allowing for the legalization of sports betting in the state.
Each tribe may select its own vendor under this legislation, which might result in the issue of up to four licenses. With exclusive control over the state’s online sports betting industry, the Penobscot Nation, the Passamaquoddy tribes at Indian Township and Pleasant Point, the Houlton Band of Maliseets, and the Mi’kmaq stand to gain handsomely from this arrangement.
Notably, two well-known bookmakers in the country, DraftKings and FanDuel, have both stated that they would not be entering the Maine market. They cite the state’s revenue-sharing arrangement as the reason behind their decision, as they believe it is insufficient to support their activities in Maine. Although the market may not be large, it offers smaller businesses a tantalizing chance to get a larger market share than in other regions of the United States.
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