Maine Online Casino Bill Fails to Pass in House and Senate

There is bad news for casino players in Maine, as it looks like online play is not going to be legalized any time soon.

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Earlier this week, a bill that would have put Maine’s tribes in charge of online casinos failed to pass the House. However, it still went to the Senate but the next day, instead of passing the bill, the Senate voted to table it.

This means that it could be revisited before the end of the legislative session, but it seems unlikely. The news comes in the same week as Maryland failed to pass online gambling legislation before the end of the session. The session in Maine ends on 17 April.

In the House, the bill failed to pass by 71 to 74 votes. The next day, senators voted 20 to 14 against the bill and then by 27 to 7 to table it.

Maine passed sports betting laws in May 2022 and gave the state’s four tribes a monopoly over the industry. Governor Janet Mills wanted to do something to support the four tribes of the Wabanaki Nation, as they do not have the same level of federal recognition as other tribes.

Related: Maine Legislators Hope to Expand Online Gambling beyond Sports Betting

More Regulation News

Tribes Allowed to Operate Online Gambling

The deal from 2022 gives the tribes the right to operate online casinos as well; however, first lawmakers need to create the legal framework for it, which has so far proved difficult. There are currently just seven states where online casinos are legal.

The bill that failed in Maine would not have allowed the state’s two land casinos, which are operated by Churchill Downs Inc. and PENN Entertainment, to operate online casinos. They are also not allowed to offer online sports gambling and were opposed to the latest proposed legislation.

Concerns about Gambling Harms

Online casinos would potentially be very lucrative for the state, with licenses costing $200,000 and taxes of 10%. However, lawmakers are concerned about potential gambling harms.

This is basically saying people can sit at home and play slot machines on their computer all day long, and I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do. It’s a real expansion of gambling in the state of Maine.

Jeff TimberlakeRepublican Senator


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