The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned on May 14, 2018, allowing each state in the country to propose and create their own laws and regulations for sports betting.
Maine has made several attempts to legalize sports betting, yet recent bills have hit a roadblock, meaning sports betting is still illegal in Maine.
Maine does offer various other forms of gambling like pari-mutuel wagering, state lotteries, casino gambling, and charitable gaming. Charitable gaming includes games of chance such as bingo, raffles, and some card games with a maximum bet of $1 per hand. To accommodate the legal wagering options, Maine has two casinos, two horse racing tracks, and four off-track betting parlors.
Unlike many states in the US, local tribes are not permitted to conduct casino-style gaming on their lands. The four tribes in Maine must follow the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act; they must follow state laws and only offer bingo games with unlimited prize amounts.
Sports betting enthusiasts in Maine may not be able to bet on sports in-state, but New Hampshire is just a short drive away and can offer fully legalized sports gambling.
When Will Online Sports Betting Be Legal in Maine?
The motion to legal sports gambling was gaining momentum in the summer of 2019 as lawmakers in Maine voted to pass a bill, L.D. 553, which would’ve legalized both in-person and online sports betting. Other particulars of the legislation would’ve also legalized betting on electronic sports, but would forbid betting on high school and college teams based in Maine.
Unfortunately, Maine Governor Janet Mills vetoed the bill in January 2020, and attempts to overturn her veto in 2020 failed.
Mills’ objections stem from moral objections to legalizing additional betting in the state and balancing the already illegal gambling taking place, plus the fear of young and at-risk gamblers being able to bet responsibly. There is also pushback from the state’s two casinos, both of which were not on board with the plan.
The casinos are against online sportsbooks operating independently without having a tie to a retail location. They prefer online sportsbooks form partnerships with state casinos.
The veto by Mills was first given a vote of 30-10 to override by the state Senate, but was then upheld by a vote of 85-57 by the House.
It’s interesting to note that the House voted to uphold the veto won by ten votes. Given that disparity, plus Governor Mills’ strong objection to legalized sports betting, it may still be some time until Maine residents can bet on sports.
Maine Sports Betting FAQs
Does Maine have sports betting?
No, sports betting is currently illegal in Maine.
Which states near Maine have sports betting?
New Hampshire is the closest state to Maine that offers legalized sports betting.
Are there any professional sports teams in Maine?
There are no pro sports teams in the state of Maine. However, residents of Maine often cheer for teams in the nearby state of Massachusetts. These include the New England Patriots in the NFL, the NHL’s Boston Bruins, NBA’s Boston Celtics, and MLB’s Boston Red Sox.