Delay Remains for Maine In-Person Sports Betting

Maine In-Person Sports Betting Freeze Draws Frustration

The wait continues for Maine in-person sports betting.

Despite being signed into law long ago, there’s still uncertainty about when operations will go into effect.

The stagnation has frustrated legislators who remain in the dark about the roll out of in-person betting statewide.

Sen. Joe Balducci, D-Bangor inquired about the subject this week. In a letter to Milton Champion, the executive director of the Maine Gambling Control Unit, Balducci called it “both surprising and unacceptable” that retail operators have yet to commence operations despite receiving the green light.

It’s been two years since in-person betting was legalized in Maine. Meanwhile, online sports betting was launched in November.

Here’s the latest on where Maine in-person sports betting stands.

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Frustration Growing

Among Balducci’s primary concerns, as noted by News Center Maine, is the economic impact of stagnation. He stressed that by keeping in-person betting on ice, the state’s brick-and-mortar locations are missing out on valuable revenue.

“Hollywood Casino has over 300 employees, pays the City of Bangor $2.2 million a year that pays the mortgage on the Cross Insurance Center, and pays the state more than $25 million a year in terms of tax revenues,” Balducci wrote.

Generally, the ramp-up period for sports betting is only a few months. Balducci suggested it’s gotten to the point where some believe the hold-up could be “intentional.”

“There is no comparison, there’s no other place where you could find this kind of stagnation,” Balducci said.

Champion has yet to respond to Balducci’s letter regarding Maine in-person sports betting.

Available Operators in Maine

As betting odds explained, DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook remain the only two licensed sportsbook operators in Maine. The Mi’kmak Nation, Maliseet Tribe, and Penobscot Nation have all partnered with Caesars for retail and online operations, while the Passamaquoddy Tribe has agreed to a deal with DraftKings.

Akin to other states, Maine bettors are prohibited from placing wagers on in-state colleges or esports. That’s important to remember when discussing sports gambling strategies.

The tribes control close to 85% of the betting market in the state, though their presence would be even greater if not for the delay on in-person betting.

Unfortunately, it’s been quite the wait for Maine bettors. After legislation went into effect in August 2022, it took 14 months for the state to draft sports betting rules and submit them to the Attorney General Office.

Sports betting is now legal throughout New England, with regulations varying by location. Connecticut, for instance, also offers online casino play, with bettors having access to games such as blackjack, poker, roulette, and craps, along with slots. DraftKings and Mohegan Sun Casino via FanDuel remain the available operators for casino players.

Casino play comes with attractive bonuses, but it’s routinely drawn criticism because of its addictive behaviors. Only a handful of other states have legalized it, including Delaware, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia. Time will tell if more states revise their guidelines to introduce legal online casino play.

For sports expert picks, betting analysis, and more, visit Point Spreads Sports Magazine.

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