Legalised sports betting in the US state of Maine moved a step closer this week when the state’s Senate moved to block the state Governor Janet Mill’s attempts to prevent legalisation.
Gov.Mills had vetoed a bill that would have legalised the activity in Maine, but the Senate has now overruled that veto, which means that the legislation can become law.
The Senate voted 20-10 in favour of overriding the Governor’s veto, which means that the legislation will be put to a vote in the House, where it is expected to pass.
Mills vetoed the bill, LD553, last month, stating that the residents of Maine were not yet ready for the legalisation of sports betting, although she praised the intent of the bill to move sports betting into the regulated sector. At the time of the veto, she said she would prefer to see the state learn the lessons of sports betting from other areas of the US before acting on the issue. She also expressed concern that LD553 didn’t do enough to protect young and vulnerable people from gambling advertising.
The bill had been originally filed back in January 2019 but had remained with the House Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee until the summer, when it passed through both houses of the Maine legislature. It then remained on the desk of the Governor for six months, due to a clause in the state constitution that meant she was able to delay her decision.
The law covers the details of how sports betting would be implemented in the state, across the land-based facilities in the area, including off-track and racetrack facilities and casinos. It also enables mobile betting operators to apply for licenses without having to strike a partnership with a land-based betting company. The new sports betting industry would be taxed at the rate of 10% of their revenue, while mobile operators would pay a 16% rate.