Maine launching sports betting on Friday, 3 November at 9 a.m.
The folks in Maine are about to hit a two-leg parlay this weekend.
Not only are they gaining an extra hour of sleep due to daylight saving time, but starting Friday, 3 November anyone 21 years and older within the Pine Tree State also will be able to begin placing online sports bets at 9 a.m. through either Caesars Sportsbook
According to Milton Champion, the state’s Gambling Control Unit’s Executive Director, tomorrow is actually ahead of schedule as the Attorney General’s Office finished its legal review of the proposed adopted rules in advance of its deadline. This allowed Champion to forward the findings to the Secretary of State’s office, and effective Sunday, 29 October that office signed off on the adopted rules allowing gambling to begin in Maine; a process that began when Governor Janet Mills signed the LD 585
sports gambling bill into effect on 2 May 2022.
“It’s been a long year and a half, with minimal staff, but a dedicated one,” Champion told Casino City when asked how it feels for him and his office to finally be arriving at this day. “I couldn’t have done this without them and the support of Lori Manson and Scott Gagnon from Adcare Maine Problem Gambling Services, the Attorney General’s Office and the patience and understanding from the sports wagering industry.”
The four tribes – the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, and the Penobscot Nation, and the Passamaquoddy Tribe – own the exclusive rights for all online wagering. While the first three tribes partnered up with Caesars Sportsbook to handle all of the wagers earlier this year, the last tribe announced earlier this week that it’s reached an agreement with DraftKings
Both Caesars Sportsbook and DraftKings
received their temporary online sports betting licenses Wednesday morning. According to Champion, the two operators are the only online sports betting options in Maine and as of now no other operators have submitted an application for an online sports betting license.
While mobile sports wagering will be in full swing as of tomorrow, it’s not known exactly when retail sports betting will begin just yet despite it having the green light already.
Retail sports betting will be allowed at off-track betting facilities and commercial racetracks as well as the two casinos in the state, Oxford Casino & Hotel
and Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor
. In total, there will be a max of 10 retail licenses issued by the state.
Despite the fact that Churchill Downs Incorporated runs the Oxford Casino, while PENN Entertainment manages the Hollywood Casino, each operator must still submit applications for licenses, which according to Champion, “will be looked at separate in respect to those that oversee sports wagering for those businesses.”
Wednesday morning, Pioneer Gaming, which operates Favorites Off-Track Betting facilities in Waterville and Sanford, received its temporary retail sports betting license. However, at the moment, Pioneer Gaming is relocating the Waterville facility to a larger facility and renovating the Sanford spot. When both locations are complete, they will be able to offer sports betting immediately without a soft launch.
According to Champion, Pioneer Gaming is partnering with BetMGM, but it will be for retail sports betting only, not mobile. Maine began its sports wagering application process
in February of this year. As of now, there are no other retail sports betting applications submitted, but there is no deadline by which operators must submit a retail or online sports betting license request. Retail operators must pay an initial fee of $4,000 for a license, while online operators must pay $200,000.
Regardless of whether the wagers are made in person or on a mobile device, no bettors will be allowed to place money on in-state college teams, per Maine’s regulations.
Retail and online sports wagering is expected to be a significant revenue producer for all.
The tribes and off-track betting locations will receive approximately 50% of the money wagered, while the state will receive 10% of the Adjusted Gross Revenue.
“Projections are from $3.8 to $6.9 million, according to the Oxford Economics Analysis from 2017,” said Champion previously of the report commissioned by the American Gaming Association.
Maine will join Connecticut, Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Rhode Island as the New England states that currently allow legal sports wagering. Vermont legalized betting on sports in June 2023, and it’s expected to go live in 2024.
When asked which of the New England states is Maine modeling itself after in regards to how it conducts retail and online sports betting, Champion said previously, “we worked our rules from six to eight other states nationwide, some of which were, Colorado, Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio, Michigan, Montana, Wyoming, and Mississippi.”