DraftKings eyes Maine launch with Passamaquoddy Tribe deal

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DraftKings has formed a partnership with the Passamaquoddy Tribe to gain access to the online sports betting market in Maine, which is set to open on Friday.

Subject to licensing and regulatory approvals, the agreement will see the DraftKings Sportsbook app launch in its 25th state, bringing sports fans the opportunity to legally wager online for the first time in Maine. 

“Building a relationship with the Passamaquoddy Tribe is a fantastic opportunity for DraftKings, as we look to bring customers in the state of Maine safe and legal sports betting,” said Jason Robins, Chief Executive Officer and Co-Founder of DraftKings. 

“We look forward to our continued collaboration with the Maine Gambling Control Unit as we become the official mobile sports betting provider of the Passamaquoddy Tribe and launch in our industry-leading 25th state.”

Sports betting is set to launch in Maine on Friday after a drawn-out process over 18 months to establish the regulations for the market. While other states that legalized sports betting around the same time have long since launched, Maine has taken its time and endured several controversies around its regulatory framework. 

The AGA President and CEO Bill Miller wrote a letter to the Maine Gambling Control Unit demanding advertising restrictions be watered down, while the regulator’s Director was temporarily suspended for social media controversy. 

But those issues are now passed, allowing operators to finally launch in Maine from Friday. 

“The Passamaquoddy Tribe is excited to enter into a mobile sports wagering agreement with DraftKings,” said Chief William Nicholas, Passamaquoddy Tribe. 

“We couldn’t have landed a better organization in the mobile sports wagering arena, and we look forward to continued progress and investment for future growth in the state of Maine.”

Meanwhile, DraftKings has marked its anticipated launch in Maine by donating $100,000 to the Lewiston-Auburn Area Response Fund to provide support for those affected by the shootings in Lewiston last month. 

“The Passamaquoddy Tribe at Sipayik is incredibly thrilled to have a mobile sports wagering deal with DraftKings,” said Chief Pos Bassett, Pleasant Point Tribal Government. 

“They are the industry leaders, and we are excited to be a part of bringing a first-class mobile sports wagering experience to Maine. This is a huge step forward for my community and the state.”

Elsewhere, Caesars has also secured market access to Maine via an agreement with three of the four access point tribes, the Malisett, Mi’kmap and Penobscot tribes.

Maine’s sports betting legislation is not popular amongst most operators, with 50% of the revenue set to be given to tribal operators, while an additional 10% will be taken in taxes for the state. 

With operators set to take 30-40% of revenue, some including BetMGM, FanDuel and DraftKings had indicated that they would not seek to enter the state’s online space.