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Maine sports betting on hold until 2020


Hopes for the launch of sports betting in Maine have suffered a setback after the state’s Governor Janet Mills failed to sign legislation into law before the July 2 deadline. 

Legislative Document 553 was one of 39 that the Governor decided to hold back for further review, meaning the bills have neither been signed, vetoed nor allowed to pass into law without her signature. 

According to the state’s constitution, if the Governor does not act on legislation within ten days, it passes into law unless the legislature has been adjourned. With the legislature having adjourned on June 20, the bills are now effectively on hold until the legislature returns in January 2020. 

At this point, Mills has three days to act, or the bill passes into law. She plans to review the unsigned bills over the coming months, before making a final decision. 

“The Legislature has passed a significant number of bills this session, and I take seriously my constitutional obligation to thoroughly review all of them, evaluate their implications, and decide whether they are in the best interest of Maine people,” Mills explained. 

“In order to meet that responsibility, I will continue to review these bills and gather more information, and I look forward to acting on them at the beginning of the next legislative session.”

Over the past legislative session, Mills signed 606 bills into law, vetoed eight, and allowed 45 to become law without her signature. 

LD553 was passed by the Maine House and Senate following a last-minute push by lawmakers, which saw it gain final approval on June 20, the final day of the state’s legislative session.

It allows racetracks, off-track betting facilities, and commercial and tribal casinos to launch sports betting, while mobile operators will be able to apply for licences without a bricks-and-mortar partner. 

Licensees will pay a $20,000 fee, then a 10% tax on land-based wagering revenue, which rises to 16% online.