Maine Senate committee set to discuss sports gambling legislation today
By Bob Garcia
Lawmakers are actively pursuing how to engage the rise in sports gambling across the US
There will be significant movement today regarding Maine’s sports betting legislation, and it appears that the process is moving slowly but surely. The Senate Veterans and Legal Affairs (VLA) Committee is scheduled to meet this morning to discuss Senate Bill 1352 at a hearing. This bill, which is being sponsored by Senator Louis Luchini, hopes not to follow in the footsteps of its 2019 counterpart, which was passed by the legislature but was rejected by Governor Janet Mills.
At a meeting yesterday, Steven Silver, chairman of the Maine Gaming Control Board (MGCB), was the only one who was able to speak in order to share specifics on the issue. Among the provisions of the bill are brick-and-mortar and mobile sportsbooks, a 16% tax rate on all GGR (gross gaming revenue) for mobile sportsbooks, while 10% on land-based operations. In addition to this, racetracks, tribal gaming facilities, and casinos can now apply for a license, which will be granted to all approved operators after paying their respective fee of $20,000.
At this time, this Senate bill is not the only one on the table for discussion, as other separate bills also related to sports betting are in the equation. LD 1404 is aimed at legalizing sports betting and strengthening public education. In order to properly tax, regulate and control sports betting, there is also LD 1405. Finally, the legislation that guarantees Maine adequate oversight of this new legislation is LD 1527. Michael Cushing, President of the Maine Harness Horsemen’s Association said, “The distinguished members of VLA have before you several sports betting bills. Sports betting is a rapidly growing trend across the country.”