Last Week, Maine’s House of Representatives Voted to Legalize Sports Betting Amendment Favorable to Maine Casinos but Opposed by State Tribes Maine Congress has Passed Sports betting Legislation but Governor Failed to Sign
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Last week, Maine’s House of Representatives voted to legalize sports betting . It has been a difficult battle, but the legislature passed the bill. The Governor did not sign the amendment.
Currently, Maine has two casinos – Hollywood Casino in Bangor and Oxford Casino in Oxford – and two horse racetracks – Scarborough Downs in Scarborough and Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway in Bangor – and this bill would allow each to operate a retail sports betting market.
In an attempt to include the Native Tribes of Maine, this bill would allow them access to the mobile betting market. Some argue that it is more profitable than the traditional in-person market because most bets can only be placed in states where such activity is legal.
This sports betting bill has been approved by the House. The Senate will now debate it and pass it before it is signed into law. It’s intended to provide a compromise in order to expand the rights of state-tribal members.
This bill could still be rescinded if the native tribes of Maine are able to achieve their sovereignty.
Amendment Favorable to Maine Gaming Commissions
The bill allows Maine’s racetracks and casinos to provide sports betting services to their customers. This is a great revenue boost for an already existing market.
The bill’s mobile betting market allows Maine’s casinos and racetracks to offer sports betting. However, the native tribes of Maine are not happy about the replacement of a separate bill designed to give them back the sovereignty they felt they had lost through a 1980 agreement with the state.
Governor Mills worked closely with tribe leaders to make sure this bill expanded their rights. Maine’s native tribes were given less rights than other 570 federally recognised tribes and treated as municipalities, rather than the sovereign states they already are.
A different bill that grants tribal sovereignty to Maine also passed the Maine House of Representatives. However, Governor Mills prefers that the bill for sports betting be used to accomplish that difficult task.
This issue is the reason Maine has not yet legalized sports betting.
Maine Congress Has Passed Sports Betting Legislation, But the Governor Did Not Sign
Maine’s Second Year in a Row. Although a number of sports betting bills have been passed in Maine, none have made it to the final stages of becoming law due to opposition by the governor and having to give way to higher priorities.
Now that the global pandemic is over, Governor Mills introduced the sports betting bill to provide more rights for state tribes. It will be discussed in detail by the Senate as she returns it to her desk to receive her signature.
Regardless of whether tribal interests are able to achieve their sovereignty without this bill, the establishment of a Maine sports betting market makes economic sense for everyone involved. Keep checking back for more updates on this story.