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Maine Senate Overrides Governor's Sports Betting Veto

A Two-Thirds Majority Vote From The House Tuesday Would Make Sports Betting Legal In The State

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Gov. Janet Mills (photo c/o Bangor Daily News)Sports betting in Maine looked like it would have to wait at least another year when Gov. Janet Mills vetoed sports betting legislation last month.

The Democrat vetoed a bill that would’ve allowed Mainers over the age of 21 to bet on sporting events, but the Republican-majority Senate recently voted to overturn that veto last Thursday by a vote of 20-10.

LD 553 now goes back to the Democrat-majority House where it easily passed in June to make the final say on sports betting in the northern-most state in New England. After getting the exact two-thirds majority needed in the Senate, 95 representatives must vote for the bill for it to become law.

According to the Bangor Daily News, that vote will come on Tuesday. While the bill easily passed the House last summer, there was no roll call vote, leaving plenty of uncertainty about whether or not the necessary support is there.

If passed, the bill would allow sports betting at both retail and online locations. Residents of the states will be permitted to place bets at the state’s two casinos, its horse tracks, off-track betting locations, and the tribal casinos, as well as through online books.

Retail operators would be taxed at 10 percent, while online sportsbooks will be forced to fork over 16 percent of its revenue. This was the first time that a Mills veto was overridden by either branch of the legislature since she took office in early 2019.

Mills and former Michigan Gov. Rick Synder are the only two Governors in the country to veto gambling legislation passed by their respective legislatures.