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Maine Sports Betting Slated To Launch Just Prior To Thanksgiving

Bill Speros for Bookies.com

Bill Speros  | 5 mins

Maine Sports Betting Slated To Launch Just Prior To Thanksgiving

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Mobile Maine sports betting is expected to launch in November. The Maine Gambling Control Unit has submitted the final rules for sports wagering to Attorney General Aaron Frey’s office for legal review. Clearing this final regulatory barrier is necessary in order for betting to commence. 

The attorney general has up to 120 days from the date it receives the rules to approve them. That date is Tuesday, November 14, based on the rules being delivered on Monday, which is what the MGCU said on social media. 

A November 14 launch would come 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 Tweeted. 

Thus bettors could expect a launch prior to Thanksgiving, which falls on November 23.

“What a great present that would be,” the head of the MGCU Milt Champion told the Portland Press Herald in May. 

3 Tribes Make Maine Sports Betting Deals With Caesars

Mobile sports betting in Maine will be 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 remaining portion of the mobile market, to be controlled by the Passamaquoddy tribes at Indian Township and Pleasant Point, remains up for grabs. 

The three tribes’ deal with Caesars is not yet finalized because the rules and regulations concerning sports betting have yet to be approved. But under process announced Monday would allow Caesars (and any other mobile operator) to launch its betting app statewide under a temporary license on the same day that the attorney general adopts the necessary regulations. 

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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Alliance Operators Take Pass On Maine Sports Betting

Financial terms of the deal between Caesars and the three 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. The Granite State began mobile and retail betting in 2019 through one operator – DraftKings Sportsbook

And while Boston-based DraftKings is the sole operator in New Hampshire and remains the dominant player in Massachusetts sports betting when it comes to handling, it won’t be taking bets in Maine. The four members of the Sports Betting Alliance – BetMGM, FanDuel, Fanatics, and DraftKings – have opted not to chase the Maine market because of the expected size of the revenue share with the tribes. 

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. 

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 $39 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.