CONCORD, NH – Reaction was mixed to negative when Maine Governor Janet Mills announced she had vetoed a bill to legalize sports betting in Maine. Fans of sports betting were, as would be expected, disappointed and upset that Mills had issued the veto. Advocates of legalizing sports betting for the purpose of raising additional state revenue were also disappointed. But across the border, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu was expressing excitement for the Mills veto.
bill Governor Mills vetoed would have allowed local sports betting in-state,
along with mobile betting. In-state betting establishments would have remitted
10% of their gross receipts to the state, and mobile betting providers would
have remitted 16% of their gross receipts to the state. The bill would also
allow fantasy sports betting games based on college athletes.
The bill, LD
553, had been tightly
crafted with a twenty page amendment establishing a regulatory structure, laws
around the licensing of betting establishments and providers and much more.
Tweeting a Portland Press Herald article, Governor Chris Sununu said “New Hampshire is Open for Business!”
betting was approved in New Hampshire in July of last year and the state approved
a contract with DraftKings, a sports betting company, in November. New
Hampshire officials expect the new system to generate millions in new revenue
for the state.
issuing her veto, Governor Mills said, “respectfully, I remain unconvinced at
this time that the majority of Maine people are ready to legalize, support,
endorse and promote betting on competitive athletic event.”
Maine joins the frenzy of states hungry to attract this market, I believe we
need to examine the issue more clearly; better understand the evolving
experiences of other states; and thoughtfully determine the best approach for
Maine,” Governor Mills wrote. “That approach needs to balance the desire
to suppress gambling activities now being conducted illegally and the need to
protect youthful gamblers and those least able to absorb losses under a closely
of the bill say that the issues Governor Mills cited as reason for the veto were
addressed in the bill.
DraftKings is currently running ads on Facebook calling on Mainers to reach out tell their local legislators to override Governor Mills’ veto. The bill sailed through the Maine House without a roll call vote, known as going “under the hammer.” In the Maine Senate, it had one roll call and passed on a 19-15 vote.
than a dozen states have adopted sports betting since a 2018 Supreme Court
decision ruled that states were allowed to legalize the practice. Companies
such as FanDuel and DraftKings have opened legal sports betting markets in more
than a dozen states since then.
American Gaming Association has pegged the current illegal gambling market in
the United States at upward of $150 billion per year. The legal gambling market
in 2020 could exceed $10 billion, a far cry from the size of the illegal
In states where sports betting is legal, mobile phone apps run by sports betting companies are a popular method of placing bets. In some places physical betting locations are also quite popular.
Lawmakers will now vote to see if they wish to override the Governor’s veto. A 2/3 majority of both the House and Senate is required to override the veto.
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