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Maine Sports activities Betting Combat More likely to Bleed Into 2023


Posted on: April 15, 2022, 08:13h. 

Final up to date on: April 15, 2022, 11:51h.

The Maine sports activities betting effort grew to become cloudier this week. That’s after state Sen. Joseph Baldacci (D-Bangor) launched an modification to the governor’s proposed association with the state’s 4 Native American tribes.

Maine sports betting tribes casinos
Maine Governor Janet Mills (D) speaks at a press occasion on April 7, 2022. The governor’s sports activities betting plans with the state’s native tribes hit a possible roadblock this week within the State Legislature. (Picture: Bangor Each day Information)

Maine Governor Janet Mills (D) pledged to enhance tribal relations with the 4 Wabanaki tribes after she took workplace in 2019. A part of that purpose contains the governor’s needs to predominantly afford sports activities betting privileges to the natives.

Maine’s two casinos — Hollywood On line casino Lodge at Bangor Raceway and Oxford On line casino Lodge — naturally oppose Mills’ plan. Many state lawmakers do as properly.

Mills’ sports activities betting invoice LD 585 would reserve cell sports activities betting operations to the Maliseet, Micmac, Penobscot, and Passamaquoddy folks, who're collectively often known as the Wabanaki “Individuals of the Dawnland.” Nevertheless, LD 585 would permit the 2 casinos to function in-person sports activities betting.

The casinos are searching for full sports activities betting privileges with retail and on-line operations. Baldacci’s LD 585 modification, launched yesterday, would do exactly that however require that 6% of the whole cell sportsbook income — no matter whether or not a on line casino or tribe handles the enterprise — goes to the tribes.

“We wish to have this a win-win,” Baldacci stated. “We’re not trying to create divisions.”

Divisions Created

The tribes and Mills’ workplace have been fast to retort to the sports activities betting modification. They stated permitting the casinos to take part in on-line sportsbook operations would minimize into their tribal financial sovereignty.  That’s one thing that Maine lawmakers have allegedly interfered with for a few years.

“This tribal invoice is about attempting to beat many years of points round entry to gaming by tribes,” Penobscot Nation Chief Kirk Francis stated in a press release to WMTW Information 8. “This was a negotiated invoice with the Governor’s workplace, and we tried to be as inclusive as potential.

This modification will principally render the invoice meaningless for the tribes. This can be a tribal invoice that's tried to be hijacked by the casinos,” Francis concluded.

Cell sports activities betting is the popular methodology of wagering for sports activities bettors in states the place in-person and on-line books are permitted to function.

For instance, in New Jersey, which was the richest sports activities betting state previous to New York authorizing cell sportsbooks, of the $10.93 billion wager final yr, $9.95 billion was wagered over the web. That equates to 91% of the motion being wager remotely throughout the state.

2023 Passage

Maine’s sports activities betting market could be a lot smaller than New Jersey. Maine ranks No. 43 of the 50 states in inhabitants, with simply 1.35 million folks.

However the stakes are nonetheless excessive for these concerned. And with the Maine State Legislature set to adjourn for 2022 subsequent Wednesday, April 20, the chances are more and more lengthy that sports activities betting will likely be legalized this yr.

Maine’s lone US neighbor — New Hampshire — is among the greater than 30 states within the nation that has legalized sports activities betting. Since New Hampshire doesn't have industrial or tribal casinos, its sports activities betting market is carried out principally on-line. Nevertheless, the state has licensed as many as 10 retail sports activities betting areas that the New Hampshire Lottery operates along side its sportsbook accomplice, DraftKings.

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