Tribes in Maine seek to expand rights for online gambling

January 4, 2024
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Supporters say this could benefit both the Tribes and the community at large.

Tribes in Maine are pushing to expand their online sports betting rights in the state, according to a WGME Channel 13 local news report. State legislators recently held a public hearing to discuss three bills.

The state’s Tribes want to expand gambling rights to include harness racing, online gambling, casinos and electric beano. The Tribes’ supporters say allowing these exclusive rights “helps Maine’s indigenous peoples to thrive.”

However, some have voiced concern regarding Tribal expansion and claim granting exclusive rights could create a monopoly in the industry.

State Representative Laura Supica told local news that giving Tribes expanded rights would allow them to use the additional revenue to “invest in businesses education, healthcare, infrastructure and a host of other areas that will benefit tribal citizens and their rural Maine neighbors.”

Hollywood Casino and Raceway Attorney Chris Jackson noted that this would give Maine residents access to online casino play on various devices with the expansion.

He told local news, “This would be the single largest expansion of gaming in the state's history, without a doubt, and with no vote of the people, so this is literally a casino on any iPhone, Android, MacBook, tablet and other such thing.”

The state of Maine pulled the trigger to legalize sports betting in August 2022 after Governor Janet Mills signed a bill into law. However, compiling detailed rules surrounding governing betting operations statewide had delayed opening the commercial market.

Maine’s market went live in November. Currently, the Tribes have exclusive rights to online gambling.

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