Maine tosses three sports gambling bills as legislators concentrate on a fourth
By Bob Garcia
Maine is trying for the second year in a row to introduce legalized sports gambling
So far in 2021, different Maine lawmakers have wanted to push for the legalization of sports betting through four bills in total. However, after several committee moves and decisions last week, only one still stands. This important move to have the state soon join the list of states where sports betting is legal is currently being spearheaded by Maine Senator Louis Luchini.
Late last week, the Legislative Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs met to discuss several important issues regarding these measures and came to a decision to reject three of the four active items whose sole intent was to expand gambling in the state through sports gambling. It appears that the committee members agreed to give priority focus to another sports betting statute introduced by the Senator. The objective is more than clear, not to repeat the history of January last year, where after being approved by the Legislature, a bill was rejected by the first-term governor. The idea is to be able to create legislation good enough so that when it reaches Governor Janet Mills once again, her signature is all that is needed.
“I think this bill is a good effort by those who want to bring to light a black market activity that many are now practicing,” Mills explained of her decision at the time. “But, respectfully, I remain unconvinced at this time that the majority of Maine people are ready to legalize, support, endorse and promote wagering on competitive sporting events.” However, it’s also highly unlikely that Mills would have had an opportunity to discuss the topic with enough people to logically reach that conclusion.
One of Mills’ main fears is addiction in underage people, but if legislation and regulations are properly created, we could expect Maine to soon have legal sports betting market.