Maine Bill to Legalize Sports Betting Now in Governors’ Hands
Maine Bill to Legalize Sports Betting Now in Governors’ Hands: The northeastern United States is turning into a sports betting hotbed. Rhode Island and New Hampshire have launched legal sports betting. Additionally, Connecticut’s betting industry is expected to go live by week one of the NFL season.
It appears that Maine could be the next state in the region to legalize sports betting. Maine’s sports betting bill, LD 1352, is now in the hands of Governor Janet Mills for the second time this year.
End of the Week in the Maine Legislature
The fate of LD 1352 was in doubt on Thursday and early Friday morning in the Maine legislature. The bill started the day in the Senate and ended in the same chamber before LD 1352 was sent to the desk of Governor Mills.
The Senate sent the bill to the House of Representatives, and the body failed to concur on the original legislation. As a result, the House amended the bill, and it moved back to the Senate, where it ultimately passed by a voice vote at 12:30 AM ET on Friday morning.
If Governor Mills signs the bill, there will be statewide mobile wagering. All betting providers would be attached to existing gaming facilities.
Will Governor Mills Legalize Sports Betting?
Usually, when a sports betting bill makes it to a governor’s desk, it’s signed without any questions. Unfortunately, this may not be the case with Governor Mills, who has already vetoed a sports betting bill once in her tenure.
Mills vetoed Maine’s original sports betting bill in January of 2020. According to Maine law, the governor has ten days to sign or veto a bill when the legislature is in session. If there is no signature, the bill automatically goes into effect.
Although Maine lawmakers just finished a special session for sports betting. The legislature will likely return for another special session to discuss financial recovery strategies following the pandemic.
If the legislature adjourns for the year, the bill does not become law. However, Mills will have four days to sign or veto the sports betting legislation if the lawmakers return for another special session. The bill Mills vetoed in 2020 allowed betting providers not to be connected to current gaming facilities.
LD 1352 does mandate that sports betting platforms are attached to gaming facilities. Legislators are hopeful that this will convince Mills to sign the bill and legalize sports betting.
If Mills signs the bill, Maine will become the fourth New England state to legalize sports betting. Massachusetts will likely follow as the fifth because the state’s legislative session does not adjourn until December 31, 2021.
Vermont is the only state in the region that has not considered sports betting. New Hampshire is the only border state for Maine that has legal sports betting. There is no doubt that Main is losing tax revenue to New Hampshire.
Legalizing sports betting will generate revenue for the state and help the economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic. Mills is likely to sign the bill for this reason, but only time will tell.