Sports gambling legislation in Maine hits a snag
An unresolved dispute over how to apply tax rates is keeping sports gambling from advancing
Lawmakers in Maine were able to make a little progress on sports gambling legislation yesterday, but there is one glaring issue that is holding the industry back. As long as that issue is not able to find a peaceful solution by the state’s legislators, the chances of the bill being approved diminish each day. Lawmakers cannot reach an agreement on how to disperse sports gambling tax revenue.
Main’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee hashed out the details of the bill yesterday, discussing how old gamblers should be, who would be able to operate a sportsbook and how much those operators should be charged in licenses and taxes. Some lawmakers want a two-tiered tax system, with physical locations charged one amount and online venues charged something else. This isn’t uncommon and Senator Louis Luchini states, “It recognized the fact that the brick-and-mortar (operators) have employees and pay property taxes in the state.”
The issue of age is still trying to be worked out, as well. To gamble in the state’s casinos – of which there are two – bettors must be 21 years old or older. Some lawmakers want the sports gambling minimum age to be 18, with Representative John Schneck stating, “I just think to get this thing off the ground, we should keep it simple.”
However, others argue that it would be too confusing to have one age requirement in one section of the gambling industry and a separate limit in another. Representative John Andrews states, “I just feel when you are 18 years old, you are considered an adult and you should have all of the rights that go with that, including the ability to participate in this, if you’d like to.”
There is still a lot of work to be done and a clear consensus is far away. At this point, it will require a miracle for sports gambling to come to Maine in the near future.