Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court basically gave states the go-ahead to begin regulating sports betting.
Any gambling in Maine, though, still has to be approved by legislative action. And at least one legislator believes the next group of lawmakers will be dealing with a lot of sports betting bills.The American Gaming Association estimates illegal
betting brings in 150 billion dollars every year across the country. And, although any betting is regulated by the Maine Gambling Control Board, the first stop for any gambling proposals is the legislature. “I expect there’ll be several bills brought
before the next legislature to legalize sports gambling,” said Maine State Representative Louie Luchini, (D) – Ellsworth. Luchini is the house chairperson of the legislative committee overseeing gambling. Already, gambling is allowed at off-track
betting parlors, harness racing ovals, and two casinos in Maine. “So that’s a really big decision for states now. And it’s going to let them have a pretty broad range of potential options for sports betting,” Luchini said during a Tuesday morning
interview in Ellsworth. Some of the major players in the sports betting industry are expected to make moves to create maine’s market. But it won’t be a smooth road to legalized sports gambling in this state. Luchini said, “I think anytime you talk
about expansion of gambling, you also have to talk about the potential negative social costs.” While other states ramped up for the potential of just such a ruling from the Supreme Court, Maine may be lagging behind to some extent. “Over
the next few months, the industry will be reaching out to Maine legislators, to Maine regulators. They’re going to push forward some ideas,” said Luchini. When the next legislature begins its session in January, you can count on sports betting
to be at the top of its’ stack of bills. You can bet on it.