Tribes in Maine must wait before offering sports betting

Native American tribes in Maine will have to wait several months, or even over a year before they can offer sports betting at casinos and online. 

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The state recently adopted a law allowing for sports betting to be made available in the state, which comes into effect on 8 August 2022. 

However, the Executive Director of the Maine Gambling Control Unit, Milt Champion, said it may take until 2024 before the specific rules related to operators are sorted out. 

Champion said: “This is not an easy process. We’re not trying to put this off. We just want to do it right.” 

Per the law, sports betting rights in Maine will be available exclusively to tribal operators; tribes can deliver both online and land-based wagering options. Online gaming includes playing from a mobile device.

Native American tribes were given control of the mobile sports betting market by Democratic Governor Janet Mills.  

This move has been seen as an attempt to make peace, given Mills threatened to veto a tribal proposal for greater sovereignty. 

Mobile sports betting is expected to account for 85% of tribes’ revenue. In-person wagering will be available at tribal casinos and off-track betting parlours.  

Off-track betting parlours include Churchill Downs’ horse track property in Oxford.  

Maine operates a 10% tax rate on all revenue made from gaming operations, alongside a $4,000 fee paid to the state once every four years. 

There are four federally recognised American Indian tribes in Maine – the Maliseet, Mi’kmaq, Penobscot and Passamaquoddy, which comprise the Wabanaki Nations. 

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