Maine grants legal status to sports betting; Caesars & DraftKings gear up for launch

Maine grants legal status to sports betting; Caesars & DraftKings gear up for launch

Maine’s adoption of sports betting, with regulations taking effect on 3rd of November has signaled a transformative shift in the state’s gambling industry, attracting prominent companies like Caesars and DraftKings to bring extra excitement to sports enthusiasts and bettors.

Legal sports betting in the Pine Tree State is all set to start this weekend, thanks to the approval of new regulations by the government. The Maine Department of Public Safety Gambling Control Unit recently released the new sports wagering rules, allowing betting enthusiasts to place bets starting Friday, at 9 a.m. The regulator's official website also featured a list of events open for betting. The Gambling Control Unit carefully reviewed the proposed rules, after receiving feedback from more than six hundred comments made during the process.

It became a reality one & a half year after Maine Governor Janet Mills signed the sports betting law, aligning the state with over three dozen other states of the country that offer legal sports betting following the crucial 2018 Supreme Court ruling.

Under sports betting law of the state, four Native American tribes, viz. the Penobscot Nation, the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, and the Mi’kmaq Nation, enjoy exclusive rights to operate sportsbooks within the boundaries of the state.

The majority of sports betting activities in the state are expected to occur online, with mobile sportsbooks projected to handle roughly 85 per cent of the bets placed statewide.

Some major sportsbook operators, including Caesars and DraftKings, have forged partnerships with the federally-recognized tribes to offer mobile sports betting platforms in the state. Caesars Sportsbook has teamed up with the Penobscot, Maliseet, and Micmac nations, while DraftKings has partnered with the Passamaquoddy Tribe.

The state’s legislation also allows retail sportsbooks at brick-&-mortar casinos, namely Oxford Casino Hotel and Hollywood Casino Bangor, in addition to racetracks and off-track betting facilities.

One of the main purposes behind the state’s decision to grant legal status to sports betting was to provide economic boost to the four aforementioned tribes, recognizing their rights under a 1980 law that grants more limited gaming privileges compared to other Native American tribes. Under the terms of the legislation, 40 per cent of the revenue generated by the sportsbooks will be allocated to Caesars and DraftKings, 50 per cent to the tribes, and 10 per cent to the state exchequer.

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