Maine Prepares to Legalize Sports Betting
April 30, 2019
Maine has become the latest US state to take up the issue of legalized online and offline sports betting. The state is looking to resolve some of its financial woes by making sports betting legal for all residents of Maine that are 21 years or age or older.
Sports betting in the United States is a $150 billion dollar industry. That number is sure to increase as multiple states are now offering online sportsbooks. Nevada, Pennsylvania, and New Jersey have already staked their claim in the sports betting market with online betting sites like 888Sport and BetStars.
Maine is seeking to integrate sports betting with existing brick-and-mortar casinos in the state. Lawmakers have had an initial meeting with the casinos to develop a plan for adding sports betting. There is a general consensus among Maine lawmakers that sports betting in the state is sure to pass the legislature. The primary issue seems to be how to implement it.
At the present time there are off-track betting parlors in Maine which serve Scarborough Downs. Some officials in Maine have indicated that they would like locally owned gaming facilities to be involved. The presumption is that adding sports betting would allow these operators to create more jobs, another aspect of the measure that could help the economy.
Like other states that have made sports betting online legal, Maine will first proceed with authorization for offline betting venues. It is then reasonable to expect that gaming operators would be able to expand their reach with online offerings and wagering apps for the Android and iOS operating systems.
Rhode Island has also legalized sports betting, but the measure was just approved in 2018. So far the revenues in Rhode Island have not met expectations, but betting is only allowed offline in authorized parlors. Online sports betting could create more opportunities for states to profit.
Some naysayers have voiced concern that legalized sports betting in Maine could contribute to serious gambling addictions. This assertion doesn't seem to be holding water in other states where online sports betting is legal. At any rate, lawmakers across the US are starting to realize that the benefits of legalized gambling could outweigh the risks.
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