Maine Launching Sports Betting Market on Friday After 15-Month Wait

Grant Mitchell
Grant Mitchell
USA Legal Betting


  • Maine legalized sports betting in August 2022
  • The state expects to claim up to $6 million in tax revenue per year
  • Online sports betting will be run through the state’s local tribes

Maine sports betting will be live for the first time as of 9 a.m. ET on Friday, Nov. 3.

The Department of Public Safety confirmed Tuesday that the state has accepted and adopted a series of rules and regulations for the legal sports betting market. Operators were allowed to start pre-launch advertising and promotions and customers were allowed to create accounts as of Wednesday.

The Friday opening marks about 15 months since Maine legalized sports betting.

A long time coming

Gov. Janet Mills approved sports betting legislation in May 2022, and it was signed into law in August.

Part of the law grants exclusive gaming rights for the online sports betting market to local tribes, which are allowed to partner with commercial operators.

The Maliseet, Micmac and Penobscot Tribes all settled on an agreement with Caesars sportsbook to be their official sports betting partner. DraftKings announced just Tuesday that it reached a partnership agreement with the Passamaquoddy Tribe.

The 15-month layover between the legalization and launch of the sports betting market was one of the longest for any of the 38 states that have legal markets. However, the long wait ensured the state had enough resources and regulations in place to comfortably launch without fear of major hiccups.

The official rules for sports betting were published in January by the Maine Gambling Control Unit (MGCU) and left open for public comment. Those comments were discussed by the MGCU, revised, and sent to the Attorney General’s office in July.

“Maine certainly took, let’s say, a cautious route to launch,” said John Holden, a professor at Oklahoma State University who has regularly studied and discussed sports betting. “I think the market has certainly developed nationally around them. That’s probably kudos to Maine’s regulators that they are being cautious, they aren’t taking pressure from the industry or what other states are doing in how they’re moving forward.”

Following the money

Following the Friday launch, Vermont (which has legalized but not launched its sports betting market) is the only state as far south as South Carolina that does not accept sports bets.

MGCU executive director Milt Champion said last year that Maine expects to receive $3.8-6 million annually in tax revenue generated from sports betting.

The Tribes will receive at least 50% of mobile sports betting revenue, and the state will impose a 10% tax rate. Sportsbook partners such as Caesars and DraftKings will receive 30-40% of the available revenue.

The Tribes do not own any rights to retail sports betting, which is authorized at seven locations, including two casinos in Bangor and Oxford. But despite the Friday launch, several locations won’t be ready to accept any sports bets.

The national sports betting boom has led to Americans placing more than $220 billion in wagers during the first five years of operation. Although Maine is sparsely populated and does not have the same infrastructure as other states, the local market launch is still expected to provide a strong economic drive.

Maine bettors must be 21 or older and located within state lines to place bets with legal sportsbooks. 

This is one of the busiest times of the year for operators since most major sports are all in session. On Monday, there was a “sports equinox”—a day in which the NFL, NBA, NHL, and MLB were all in session on the same day—occurred for only the 30th time in history.

Grant is a sports and sports betting journalist who prides himself in his up-to-the-minute reporting on the latest events in the industry. A member of Virginia Tech’s 2021 graduating class, he has quickly put together an impressive portfolio since moving to the professional world full-time. Grant’s favorite sports to cover are basketball and both types of football (American and soccer), and he is pushing written, audio, and video content. He has been employed by companies as highly regarded as Forbes and continues on a great trajectory in the industry. When he’s not on the clock, you can find Grant at the gym, looking for adventures, or hanging out with his family.