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Maine Sports Betting Launches With DraftKings, Caesars

Bill Speros for Bookies.com

Bill Speros  | 7 mins

Maine Sports Betting Launches With DraftKings, Caesars

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Mobile Maine sports betting began on Friday with DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook booking wagers across the Pine Tree State. 

The Maine Gambling Control Unit  (MGCU) gave approval to both books to take bets as part of its overall plan to begin before Thanksgiving.  

"We are down to the wire and will be ready to go live in November," MGCU Executive Director Milton Champion told bookies.com on October 18.

Mobile sports betting in Maine is operated exclusively through the state's four Native American tribes. Each operator has one skin. In May, three tribes – the Penobscot, Houlton Band of Maliseets, and Mi’kmaq nations - agreed with Caesars Sportsbook in principle to operate a book using their skins. 

The first bet placed on the Caesars' app was $20 on Duke (+1200) to win the 2024 NCAA Men's basketball tournament, a company spokesperson said. 

On October 30, DraftKings Sportsbook announced it had reached a deal with the Passamaquoddy tribes at Indian Township and Pleasant Point. They control the remaining portion of the mobile market and the fourth skin.

“Building a relationship with the Passamaquoddy Tribe is a fantastic opportunity for DraftKings, as we look to bring customers in the state of Maine safe and legal sports betting,” said Jason Robins, Chief Executive Officer and co-founder, DraftKings said in a company release. “We look forward to our continued collaboration with the Maine Gambling Control Unit as we become the official mobile sports betting provider of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and launch in our industry-leading 25th state.”

Tribes Make Maine Sports Betting Deals With Caesars, DraftKings

The MGCU submitted the final rules for sports wagering to Attorney General Aaron Frey’s office for legal review. The rules have been approved and will be cleared by Maine Secretary of State Shenna Bellows earlier this week in time for Friday's launch. 

The Friday launch comes more than a year after Maine’s sports betting law went into effect. 

“Barring any hiccups, licenses will be issued on the day of adoption to allow licensees to go live and offer wagers on sports by law and rule,” the MGCU posted on X June 17

Pre-registration began on Wednesday as operators and their affiliates were able to start pre-launch advertising to accept registrations and account deposits.

Caesars and DraftKings launched their betting apps statewide under a temporary license. 

“The Passamaquoddy Tribe is excited to enter into a mobile sports wagering agreement with DraftKings,” said  Passamaquoddy Tribe Chief William Nicholas in the DraftKings release. “We couldn’t have landed a better organization in the mobile sports wagering arena, and we look forward to continued progress and investment for future growth in the state of Maine.”

BetMGM has reached an agreement with two in-person locations for retail sites that have yet to be open. 

Maine is the fifth of the six New England states with online sports betting. Vermont, the lone holdout, plans to launch in January. Since Maine legalized betting in May of 2022, Massachusetts enacted its sports wagering law and launched both retail and mobile sports betting. Massachusetts currently has 3 retail books and 8 mobile licensees. 

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Some Operators Pass On Maine Mobile Sports Betting

Financial terms of the deal between Caesars, DraftKings, and the four tribal nations have not been made public. But it is expected Caesars will get anywhere between 30-50% of the book’s revenue. 

Maine is the only state in the U.S. to be bordered by just one other state, New Hampshire. 

Boston-based DraftKings has been sole operator in New Hampshire since 2019 and remains the dominant player in the Massachusetts sports betting market. 

The four members of the Sports Betting Alliance – BetMGM, FanDuel, Fanatics, and DraftKings – had previously opted not to chase the Maine mobile market because of the expected size of the revenue share with the tribes. 

But DraftKings has since changed its mind. 

DraftKings is also donating $100,000 to the Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund to support those affected by the mass shooting that took place in that area on October 25 as part of its launch.

"With Maine Community Foundation (MaineCF) as a conduit, 100% of every dollar donated will be allocated to people impacted and the organizations that will help guide Lewiston-Auburn through the process of healing. Donations to the Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Funds will be distributed with deep community guidance," the company said in its statement. 

Maine Sports Betting Explained

Category Law
Retail Operator Tax10%
Mobile Operator Tax10%
Est. State Annual Revenue$6.9M
Minimum Age21
Betting AppsUp to 4
Retail BettingYes
Retail VenuesUp to 7
Pro SportsAll Teams
College BettingMaine Teams Not Allowed
Credit Cards Allowed To Fund Accounts
Debit CardsAllowed To Fund Accounts
Advertising LimitsSome
Licensing Fee$200K For 4 Years

Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed sports betting into law on May 2, 2022. Given that the MGCU until staff includes Champion and just two others, it has taken this long to get to the point where the proposed rules could reach the attorney general for final approval following the public comment period. 

The deadline for public comments was Friday. The proposed rules are similar to those in other states and include some limits on TV advertising. 

Maine has 1,355,924 people according to the most recent U.S. Census numbers and ranks 38th in overall population among the 50 states. 

Sports betting in Maine will be limited to those 21 and over. Betting on high school, and college events that include schools based in Maine, is prohibited, as is betting on events in which the majority of participants are under 18. The college ban extends to any NCAA or Hockey East tournament if it includes a Maine college or university. 

The state has been aggressive in working with college athletes and students to make them aware of the pitfalls of illicit wagering.

"We have met with Maine college athletic Directors to offer assistance with our Adcare agency that oversees problem gambling and US Risk Management that has a contract with the NCAA," Champion said. 

In addition to the four mobile licenses, retail sports betting is allowed at the state’s two casinos and five yet-to-be-open off-track betting sites. 

The law calls for 10% of the adjusted gross wagering receipts to be paid to the state to fund a variety of concerns, including administrative expenses related to regulated gaming, problem gambling treatment and prevention, and the general fund. Maine is expected to receive $6.9 million in annual revenue. 

In comparison, Massachusetts operators have paid more than $60 million in taxes to the Commonwealth since betting began earlier this year. Maine was originally part of Massachusetts until it earned statehood has part of the 1820 Missouri Compromise. 

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About the Author

Bill Speros for Bookies.com
Bill Speros
Bill Speros is an award-winning journalist and editor whose career includes stops at USA Today Sports Network / Golfweek, Cox Media, ESPN, Orlando Sentinel and Denver Post.