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Sports Betting in Maine Failing To Attract Provider Applications

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Legalized sports betting is off to a slow start in Maine. 

Slated to open this fall, state officials have yet to receive a single application from a potential sports betting provider, according to the Portland Press Herald. 

Gambling Control Unit Executive Director Milt Champion told the newspaper the agency is drafting regulations for in-state wagering.  

So far, companies like DraftKings and FanDuel have yet to begin the paperwork needed to operate in the Pine Tree State.

Milt Champion: ‘The Applications Are Out There’

Champion is sounding the alarm.  

If established betting providers do not apply soon, the fledgling industry could delay the start of live betting in Maine, which initially posted the provisional applications on Feb. 14. 

Champion’s inbox remains empty. 

“The applications are out there,” Champion told the Press Herald. “And I’d really like to see people that are going to do business in Maine start to fill out and reach out to us and communicate with us, and let’s get these applications in now rather than later.  

“All you’re going to do is prolong those start dates.” 

The Gambling Control Unit is currently editing its first draft on industry rules after the commission received 581 comments since Jan. 11. The executive director expects a second draft later this month or early May.

Gambling Control Unit Re-Working Regulations

When the next set of online gambling regulations is released, the Gambling Control Unit will analyze public comments and is expected to establish a third set of rules. Following that process, the commission likely will send it to the Maine Attorney General’s office for validation.

Once sent to the AG’s office, Aaron Frey has up to four months to review the final draft. Sports betting can go live after Frey’s approval.

The delay in receiving operation applications could push Maine’s start date back 3-4 months, Champion said.

“I would say the timeline’s been moved up to, instead of April to January 2024, say October 2023 to January 2024,” Champion said. “That would be the new window.

“I was really looking forward to having a soft opening in June or July, and we’ll still work towards that, but right now with what we’ve received so far, it doesn’t look like it’s a process that would be rectified in that time frame.”

Maine Gov. Janet Mills signed a sports betting bill on May 2, giving the state 10 percent of gross revenues.

Champion estimates the state will take in at least $3.8 million in taxes in the first year.

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