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Maine Tribes Seek iGaming Privileges After Launching Sportsbooks

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Posted on: January 3, 2024, 10:00h. 

Final up to date on: January 3, 2024, 12:23h.

On-line sports activities betting in Maine started final November after Gov. Janet Mills (D) signed laws into legislation in Could 2022. The edict permits the state’s federally acknowledged tribes to associate with sportsbook operators.

Maine tribes iGaming casino gambling
Maine tribal members marketing campaign for sovereignty outdoors of the governor’s mansion in Augusta on April 11, 2022. A greater than 40-year-old legislation limits the power of Maine tribes to self-govern and stay autonomous from the state. (Picture: AP)

The 1980 Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement Act treats Native American communities extra like municipalities than sovereign nations, as is the case in most different states. The federal legislation gave the 4 tribes $81.5 million in monetary reparations for land the U.S. authorities took from the Native teams.

In trade for the cash, the tribes agreed to concede a few of their federal Indian rights. That features working Indian casinos on their sovereign reservations no matter class of gaming, as outlined by the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act (IGRA), except the state agrees to a gaming revenue-sharing settlement.

The tribes have been working with lobbyists lately to realize gaming privileges to raised guarantee their financial futures. Mills, a staunch opponent of gaming, relented in 2022, agreeing to permit the tribes to realize unique rights to on-line sports activities betting.

Sports activities betting is prohibited on the state’s two business casinos, Hollywood On line casino Resort & Raceway in Bangor, and Oxford On line casino Resort close to Lewiston.

iGaming Payments Launched

The Maine State Legislature has convened in Augusta for its 2024 session. A invoice has already been filed to develop the tribes’ gaming privileges to incorporate iGaming with interactive slot machines and desk video games.

Legislative Doc No. 1777 was launched by Rep. Laura Supica (D-Bangor), whose district contains the Hollywood On line casino. Supica needs to permit the state’s tribes to align with a third-party operator like DraftKings to run on-line on line casino video games. The state would obtain 10% of the gross win underneath the present invoice’s textual content, because it does from on-line sports activities betting.

The Maine Playing Management Board is supportive of extra gaming through the web. However its chairman, Steve Silver, says the state’s two business casinos needs to be welcomed in, too.

Maine completely ought to think about legalizing web gaming,” Silver advised the Portland Press Herald. Silver says an “open, free-market method,” together with each the casinos and the tribes, could be within the state’s finest curiosity.

Rep. Ben Collings (D-Portland) thinks permitting the tribes to function brick-and-mortar casinos makes extra sense, and wouldn’t cannibalize play from the 2 business properties as a lot as iGaming. His invoice, LD 1944, would enable the state to barter revenue-sharing phrases with a number of tribes. The invoice would forestall the tribes from opening a on line casino in Penobscot or Oxford counties, the place business casinos function.

Maine Sportsbooks

To this point, two of Maine’s 4 tribes have debuted on-line sportsbooks. The Passamaquoddy Tribe partnered with DraftKings, and Caesars Sportsbook partnered with the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians.

Based on the U.S. Division of the Inside’s Bureau of Indian Affairs, the 2 different federally acknowledged tribes in Maine are the Mi’kmaq Nation and Penobscot Nation.

Regardless of being house to lower than 1.4 million individuals and having no skilled sports activities workforce within the large 4, bettors wagered greater than $38.6 million on sports activities by the 2 apps between December 1 and December 28, probably the most lately disclosed information set from the Maine Playing Management Unit.

Maine takes a ten% minimize of the online sportsbook win, which was solely about $370K throughout the timeframe.

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