Sports betting legalization in Maine pushes forward as lawmakers select bill to move ahead with

Published: May. 6, 2019 at 5:39 PM EDT
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Lawmakers took a big step forward Monday in the push to legalize sports betting in Maine.

The Veterans and Legal Affairs (VLA) Committee picked one bill to move ahead with and killed six other bills.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Louis Luchini, D-Ellsworth, is a concept bill -- meaning the committee will basically form the bill however they see fit, likely using a number of parts from the other bills submitted.

Some of the key points they will be discussing over the next few weeks are whether or not to allow online sports betting and who will be able to get licenses.

"I've talked to a lot of people, who, because Maine has casinos and they allow gambling, they want to be able to go place a bet on the Patriots or the Red Sox," said Luchini, who serves as Senate Chair of the VLA Committee. "And so I've heard a lot of people who are interested in expanding like many other states are looking at."

"It's going to provide more money for the casinos, for the off-track gambling places," said Rep. Scott Strom, R-Pittsfield, a cosponsor of the bill and member of the VLA Committee. "We will get revenue from the online sources DraftKings and FanDuel. They will be providing like a state income tax for this. So my hope is that we will just collect that money and put it into the general fund and we'll be able to use it to provide some good services to the state."

Eight states currently have sports betting operations and another 30 states have bills to legalize it pending.