About one year ago the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a law that banned betting on sporting events, which prompted several states to pass laws that regulate and tax the industry. Now Maine is considering five separate bills to allow sports betting.
Augusta Republican Senator Matt Pouliot, who is sponsoring one, acknowledges that it will be tough to attract bettors from the foreign-based websites that are already operating.
“To shift consumer demand from the offshore markets to the legitimate market, Maine will need to create a free market where robust competition from experienced operators subject to a reasonable tax rate insures that lawful products make for a compelling offering,” Pouliot says.
Milton Champion, the executive director of the gambling Control Board cautioned the Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee that sports betting will probably not make a lot of money for betting operators or for the state.
“In summary, do we need to offer sports wagering? Absolutely,” Champion says. “Are the casinos, OTB’ s and tribes who run these operations going to make a lot of profits? Unlikely. Is the state going to make a lot of revenue? Unlikely.”