More than a year after being approved by lawmakers, legalized sports betting in Maine officially launched this past Friday, with the first bets being placed just after 9am.
The bill signed into law by Gov. Janet Mills (D) last August granted Maine’s four federally recognized tribes exclusive operating rights to run mobile sports betting apps in the state.
Part of the reason for the lengthy roll-out process was the implementation of an extended public hearing timeline, as well as a drawn out rule making process.
According to Maine Public, 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 has partnered with DraftKings to offer mobile sports betting in Maine.
Under the law, the four tribes are allowed to each partner with a single online sports betting operator.
To participate in Maine’s newly-legalized sports betting industry, individuals must be at least 21 years old and placing their bets within state lines.
Those that 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.
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.
The new industry is expected to bring in a great deal of tax revenue to the state government — anywhere between $3.8 million and $6.9 million.
Online casinos will be required to pay a $200,000 licensing fee for four years and will be taxed at 10 percent.
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.