Maine to reconsider tribal online casino bill in 2024

Maine state capital
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Maine only launched a regulated sports betting market in November but further expansion is already on the agenda as lawmakers consider a bill carried over from the previous session. 

LD 1777, filed by Rep. Laura Supica, seeks to allow tribal nations to offer online casino gaming on an exclusive basis in a similar fashion to the states’ current sports betting market. 

However, tribes will not be able to transfer their license to any other business or operator unless they are a direct wholly-owned subsidiary of that tribe or band. 

Licenses will be handed out on a four-year term subject to regulatory approval at a cost of $200,000, payable to the Maine Gambling Control Unit. 

Essentially the bill expands the tribes rights to offer sports betting to other forms of online gambling, such as online slots and table games. However, it also seeks to change the way that the tax revenue will be allocated. 

LD1777 states that 40% of the revenue will go towards the state’s E-9-1-1 fund, while 20% will go to the Opioid Use Disorder Prevention and Treatment Fund.

1% of the revenue will go towards the General Fund for the Maine Gambling Control Unit’s administrative costs, while another 1% will go to the Gambling Addiction Prevention and Treatment Fund.

The bill, having been carried over from the previous session, will be debated once more this week before any votes take place. 

There has been vocal opposition against the bill, notably from Steve Silver from the MGCB, who wants to see a more open market with tribes getting licenses in a competitive space. 

The Portland Press Herald has also reported that Gov. Janet Mills would be against any potential expansion of gambling, though she did concede and put pen to paper on the sports betting law in 2022.