Maine Could Launch Sports Betting in November

The process is moving ahead, fast enough that state regulators think operators may be ready to accept wagers by mid-November. Certainly before the playoffs begin. It’s up to sportsbooks once licenses are in hand.

Maine Could Launch Sports Betting in November

Passamaquoddy’s claim to fame was the setting for the Disney film Pete’s Dragon. The tribe of the same name has another date with destiny if it decides to partner with a mobile sportsbook. Maine is inching closer to live wagering, although the state seems to be taking its time about the process.

Milton Champion, executive director of the Maine Gambling Control Unit, said the attorney general’s office will finish its legal review of the proposed rules by November 10. Then it’s up to the secretary of state to adopt the rules.

“When the rules become adopted, I will issue (the gaming) licensees that day, and (companies) can go live anytime they want to,” Champion told News Center Maine.

Caesars Sportsbook signed up with three of the Wabanaki Tribes to establish a mobile sports betting platform. Tribes have exclusivity when it comes to online gaming rights.

BetMGM will partner with two off-track betting (OTB) locations, Champion said. Those two locations already submitted a betting license application. In total, he thinks he’ll issue six licenses for in-person betting locations. Only registered OTBs, Maine’s two casinos, and commercial tracks can apply for licenses.

Again, it’s up to the specific companies to decide when to launch their platforms for bettors, Champion said. The sportsbooks can hold a grand opening and consumer deals on their own timeline.

A November launch date, should an operator step up to the plate, let’s the sportsbook work out any snarls before the NFL playoffs, the Super Bowl and March Madness begin.

“You can’t wager on a Maine college. Even if (a Maine team) is involved in a tournament, you still can’t wager on whoever Maine is playing at that time in the tournament. You can bet on the other teams in the tournament, but you can’t bet on Maine, and you certainly can’t bet against Maine,” Champion told News Center Maine.

According to the statute, 10 percent of adjusted gross sports wagering receipts will be utilized for various state programs.