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Maine regulators predict busy summer for sports betting

A left field scoreboard at Fenway Park is covered under a DraftKings promotional as Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11) before a game in September 2021.
Charles Krupa
/
AP
A left field scoreboard at Fenway Park is covered under a DraftKings promotional as Boston Red Sox third baseman Rafael Devers (11) before a game in September 2021.

Online sports betting typically slows down during the summer months before ramping up during the start of the NFL season. But with millions of tourists visiting Maine with the 2024 Paris Olympics this summer, the Maine Gambling Control Unit said online sportsbooks may see more action.

This is the first year in which online sportsbooks are legally available in Maine. Users in Maine have wagered almost $200 million on the platforms this year — generating $2 million in state tax revenue.

20 million Americans planned to bet on the Tokyo Summer Olympics in 2021 according to a survey from the American Gaming Association. 8.5 million people visited Maine last summer according to the Maine Office of Tourism's seasonal report.

Milt Champion is executive director for the Maine Gambling Control Unit.

“You may see some good numbers this year." Champion said. "And you may see less numbers yet next year. But if that’s the case, I’ll surely have the idea that it was probably a little bit less because there’s no Olympic events in the summer of 2025."

Despite a 20% monthly drop in online sportsbook revenue for May, the number of gross receipts actually increased by 4%. Champion indicated the dip in revenue came from DraftKings and Caesars spending $2 million more in customer payouts compared to April.

“They just had a lot more winners in in May versus April," said Champion. "And those things happen.”

Tax revenue from online sports betting rose by over 50% between February and March thanks to college basketball’s March Madness tournament.

Champion said the state remains on track to hit its end-of-year tax revenue goal of $6 million.

Nick Song is Maine Public's inaugural Emerging Voices Fellowship Reporter.


Originally from Southern California, Nick got his start in radio when he served as the programming director for his high school's radio station. He graduated with a degree in Journalism and History from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University -- where he was Co-News Director for WNUR 89.3 FM, the campus station.