Sports Bettors in Maine Told to Wait Until Next Year

Falmouth, Maine. Michael Cohen/Getty Images/AFP

The situation regarding legal sports betting in Maine has been a complicated issue to say the least. Unfortunately for sports bettors in Maine, it will not be resolved anytime soon after the news that the Maine Senate adjourned for the summer. As a result, the sports betting bill will have to wait until January before a decision is made.

Maine Has Dropped the Ball in Terms of Launching

A bill to legalize mobile sports betting in the state of Maine was introduced back on June 30th. That day, the Maine House voted to enact LD 1352 which had already been approved by both chambers. The only thing left was for the bill to go to the Appropriations Table before it goes before the full Senate. Once that happened, it would then be sent over to Gov. Janet Mills for approval.

Well none of that is going to happen in 2021 because the Maine Senate adjourned for the summer without acting on the bill. What that means for sports bettors in Maine is that they will have to wait until the regular session opens which won’t be until January 5th. Obviously with the NFL season set to kick off in less than two months, this is a huge letdown. Let’s not forget that Maine is in New England, one of the sports hotbeds in the country, especially when we’re talking NFL.

Sports Bettors in Maine Have Been Let Down Before

As disappointing as this turn of events is, sports bettors in Maine can’t be too surprised by this. The last time that a sports betting bill was sent to Gov. Mills, she vetoed it. At the time, she said: “I remain unconvinced at this time that the majority of Maine people are ready to legalize, support, endorse and promote betting on competitive athletic events”. The disappointing thing this time around is that this delay doesn’t mean anything in terms of Mills’ signature.

Once it comes time for the Senate to act in January, Mills could very well turn around and just veto the bill again. Obviously that is a worst case scenario and there is some optimism that the changes made in LD 1352 will be enough to satisfy Mills’ concerns over legal sports betting in her state. One thing that needs to be made clear is; the bill does not need the Governor’s signature to become law. For example, if Mills doesn’t sign it but also chooses to not veto it this time, the bill becomes law after 10 business days.

New Hampshire Will Continue to Profit

New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu openly celebrated last year when Maine Governor Janet Mills vetoed the bill. Maine’s loss is his states gain and he will be loving this turn of events considering it means he will have all of the money coming in from sports bettors in Maine who choose to make the short trip to New Hampshire to place their legal sports wagers. Considering nothing will happen before January in Maine, that means New Hampshire will have all four major professional sports plus the NCAA seasons to profit from while Maine continues to drag its feet on this issue.

Players in Maine and across the country that don’t yet have access to legalized sports betting, can go to OddsTrader once this changes. OddsTrader currently offers betting odds comparison in Illinois, Colorado, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Indiana, Michigan, Virginia, Iowa and West Virginia. This lawsuit will be something to watch moving forward as Florida stands to be one of the biggest players in the game once they eventually go live with legal sports betting.

In the meantime, they will have to watch everyone else in the New England area make bets legally which has to be frustrating considering how this all started. Back when Gov. Mills decided to veto the bill, a decision that was shocking to some at the time, Maine was set to be the first state in New England to provide a legal sports betting market. Since then, New Hampshire has launched and even Massachusetts is getting into the act. Maine better get their act together or risk watching millions of dollars continue to be spent in neighboring states.

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