Sports gambling in Maine could be legalized this week following the Governor’s signature. The legislative session in the state is scheduled to start on January 8 and it is expected that the state Governor will give his assent to the bill that calls for legalization of sports gambling.
Last year in April 2019, a sports gambling legalization bill was introduced. The bill – ME LD 533 – was approved by the lawmakers but has been waiting for governor’s assent since June 2019. Governor Janet Mill has been reluctant to approve the bill and therefore with the end of the last year’s legislative session the bill was put on hold.
However, with the 2020 legislative session starting January 8, the constitutional provision allows three days to the governor to make a decision. Therefore it is expected that this week Maine could join the club of other 21 states that have legalized gambling following the Supreme Court’s lifting of a decade-long ban on sports gambling back in 2018.
Revealing her position on sports betting in Maine, state Governor Janet Mills had said at that time that “The Legislature has passed a significant number of bills this session, and I take seriously my constitutional obligation to thoroughly review all of them, evaluate their implications and decide whether they are in the best interest of Maine people.
I will continue to review these bills and gather more information, and I look forward to acting on them at the beginning of the next legislative session.”
Recently, New Hampshire launched sports betting operations in December 2019. Michigan also became the 13 US state to launch sports betting operations as well as online gambling. This year several other US states are expected to launch regulated gambling operations.