Just over a week ago, mobile sports betting apps went live. Mainers have already bet almost four million dollars — and have won nearly three million.
Last Friday, DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook — working in collaboration with the state’s four federally-recognized tribes — launched their operations in Maine.
Three of the four tribes have partnered with Caesars Sportsbook to run apps on their behalf — the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, the Mi’kmaq Nation, and the Penobscot Nation. The Passamaquoddy alone has partnered with DraftKings.
More than a year earlier, lawmakers voted to legalize sports betting, but a protracted rulemaking process and public hearing timeline caused notable delays in its launch.
In the first week of legalized sports betting, $3.9 million worth of wagers were placed and $2.98 million worth of winnings were paid out between the two platforms.
So far, the state has collected $93,952 in tax revenue from mobile sports betting.
To participate in Maine’s newly legalized sports betting industry, individuals must be at least 21 years old and place their bets within state lines.
Those who are not Maine residents can legally place bets while they are physically within the state.
Wagers on college sports remain off-limits under current Maine state law if the contest involves a Maine-based school.
Prohibited from betting on certain games are collegiate and professional athletes, coaches, and officials.
Several years ago, the Supreme Court struck down a federal law prohibiting sports betting in the case of Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association.
In the 2018 decision, the Court determined that the existing federal prohibitions against state-authorized sports betting were in violation of the Tenth Amendment as previously interpreted.
Based on this understanding of the Constitution, “Congress may not simply ‘commandeer the legislative process of the States by directly compelling them to enact and enforce a federal regulatory program.’”
According to the Court, there was no meaningful distinction between directing a state to adopt a particular law or prohibiting them from doing so.
It was this decision that spurred the state-by-state rollout of legalized sports betting throughout the country.
While the Court’s ruling did not automatically make sports betting legal nationwide, it did open the door for state lawmakers to authorize it if they so chose to.
As of now, Vermont is the only remaining New England state to have not legalized sports betting. More than thirty other states nationwide have also legalized wagers on sporting events.