Maine: Sports gambling is available starting Friday after months of planning

October 31, 2023 3:45 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Patrick Whittle, Associated Press
October 31, 2023 3:45 PM
  • Patrick Whittle, Associated Press

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — Legalized sports gambling on sports will be available in Maine starting Friday, following months of discussion about how to roll it out.

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Maine joins more than 30 states in allowing sports gambling. A law making it legal went into effect in August 2022, but authorities in the state favored a slow rollout that required gamblers to wait months before placing their first wagers.

That wait is almost over. Sports gambling goes live on Friday, said Maine State Police spokesperson Shannon Moss.

Starting Wednesday, “licensed operators and their management service providers and suppliers will be able to start pre-launch advertising to accept registrations and account deposits up to the go-live date,” Moss said.

Legalized sports gambling is able to go live because the Maine Department of Public Safety’s Gambling Control Unit has adopted the rules for sports wagering, Moss said. Milton Champion, the unit’s executive director, is thankful to state authorities as well as “the sports wagering industry for their input and patience in the rulemaking process,” Moss said.

Gamblers must be 21. Mobile and online wagering, which have grown significantly across the country in recent years, are expected to account for the majority of the sports betting market in Maine.

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way for legalized sports betting about five years ago. Recently, some states have sought to step up programs for problem gamblers as the market grows.

In Maine, mobile and online wagering are also expected to provide revenue to the state’s Native American tribes. The tribes were given control of the online sports betting market.

Each tribe can select its own vendor, meaning there could be up to four licenses for the Penobscot Nation, Passamaquoddy tribes at Indian Township and Pleasant Point, Houlton Band of Maliseets, and Mi’kmaq.

Casinos in the state are also among the businesses that can request licenses.