Maine approves sports betting bill with unlimited online licenses

Online licenses cost $20k, with no requirement for operators to be tethered to land-based properties

Both houses of the Maine legislature approved an operator-friendly sports betting bill on Wednesday night, with the bill now headed to the state governor for final approval.

The legislation allows for an unlimited number of online/mobile betting licenses to be awarded, with no requirement for online operators to be tethered to a land-based property.

The initial fee for a mobile license is $20,000, with online revenues then taxed at 16%.

“To me, it’s a strange way to write a law that would require a new business to come into Maine only if they tether their license to an existing business,” bill sponsor Sen. Louis Luchini told the Press Herald this week.

“We don’t require Amazon to tether to existing grocery stores and we don’t require Airbnb to tether to hotels.”

The bill also allows 11 land-based entities to obtain licenses for on-property betting, including a race track, two commercial casinos, the state’s four tribes and four off track betting parlours.

Land-based revenues will be taxed at 10% of GGR.

Bettors must be 21 and over, with no betting allowed on contests involving Maine colleges.

According to fiscal projections, betting will generate $1.9m for the state in year one, growing to $5.6m by year four.

Maine, which has a population of 1.3 million, could become the sixth state to legalize sports betting this year, joining fellow New England states Rhode Island and New Hampshire.

Maine | Mobile | Mobile betting | Regulation | Sports betting