Maine is looking to join the sports betting bandwagon. The Portland Press Herald reports the state legislature will consider several bills that would sanction and regulate the activity.
The bills are still being written, so the exact contents of them are still unknown. Benjamin Collins, the representative from Portland, is sponsoring a bill that will help Maine’s native tribes, and believes a compromise measure between various bills will come together. Such a bill would include sports betting legislation for casinos, off-track betting parlors, harness racing and tribes.
Senate President Troy Jackson is sponsoring another two bills that would cover online and mobile gaming. His bills would prohibit betting on college sports, minor league teams as well as youth sports. His spokesperson said in a statement, “The general idea is to establish a regulatory structure for sports betting in Maine after the U.S. Supreme Court ruling this past spring.”
This news broke before the recent DOJ decision that the Wire Act would apply to online gambling, so it’s unclear at the moment if this would prohibit Jackson’s proposed bills.
Rep. Collins believes the added action of sports betting could help the state’s coffers, but doesn’t want to get the public too excited about the prospect. It could bring in millions, “but probably not in the tens of millions,” the lawmaker said.
Legalizing sports betting, an activity that is already rampant in the U.S., would lift it out of the dark market it currently resides in. Last week, a 62-year-old man was sentenced to prison for taking millions of dollars in bets over a 14-year span.
In 2017, Maine started its flirtation with legal sports betting by legalizing daily fantasy sports. Now they join the rush of states looking to get in on the action. Nearby Rhode Island introduced sports betting in casinos last November, and New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said he wants to roll it out in as well in the future.