Maine Lawmakers Consider Gambling Expansion Despite Tribal Online Sports Betting Success

Following the state’s legalization of online sports betting in May 2022, Maine’s federally recognized tribes made a noteworthy entry into the internet sports betting market in November of last year. Legislators in the state are now considering ideas to increase gaming possibilities as the second regular session begins, the Portland Press Herald said.

Legislators are focusing on a number of previously submitted proposals in an effort to boost tribal sovereignty, increase gaming, and promote rural and tribal towns’ economic growth. The legislation also intend to increase revenue for public services.

One significant proposal, LD 1777, which is supported by Representative Laura Supica and co-sponsored by Senate President Troy Jackson and House Speaker Rachel Talbot Ross, calls for the expansion of gambling to include internet gambling in addition to sports betting. The measure sees tribes promoting communal development, stimulating the economy, and offering online games of skill or chance.

There are two more proposals under consideration that Representative Ben Collings supports. While LD 1992 advises permitting federally recognized tribes to operate casinos, slot machine venues, electronic beano terminals, and historical horse racing terminals, LD 1944 urges that tribes build casinos on their territory.

Generating Funds for Maine Initiatives

These plans seek to tax more gambling in order to generate money for a number of state-wide projects. Even if more money may be beneficial, there is still opposition to the development of gambling in Maine, especially from Governor Janet Mills, who has long opposed the idea. A prior Collings measure that attempted to let tribes to own casinos was vetoed by Mills. In 2022, the governor accepted a measure that gave tribes the sole authority to provide internet sports wagering, despite her adamant opposition.

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The argument over expanding gambling in Maine is probably going to get more heated as these measures make a comeback in the legislative limelight. Opponents, like Governor Mills, may raise worries about possible social and economic repercussions, while supporters contend for more money for public services, community development, and economic advantages.

There may be lively discussions and arguments among legislators, tribal officials, and gaming industry stakeholders on the destiny of these measures during the second regular session.

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