Maine Sports Betting: Tough Journey Before Markets Go Live

Written By Grant Taylor-Hill on January 20, 2023

For the last year or so, a mass takeover has been happening across the United States. As time goes on, more states have been opening their doors to the practices of sports betting, legalising the concept and moving to regulate operators seeking to take advantage of the growing market. Last year, in May 2022, sports betting was legalised in Maine, but following an arduous journey, it may be that the markets themselves cannot go live until late into 2024.

With hefty requirements for operators to begin trading and endless discussion to take place, there’s a tough journey ahead. There were expectations that Maine’s sports betting markets would open up in time for March Madness or in time for the Super Bowl, but that’s certainly not going to happen. With statements from industry personalities hanging in the air, the general consensus is that it could be more than a year until the markets go live.

Pay The Toll, Reap The Rewards

Fanatics is expanding, will it seek to enter Maine?

For the most part, the betting industry is experiencing overwhelming growth across the United States. In recent months, more states have legalised sports betting, mobile betting, and online betting, and more operators are seeking to push into the space. Recently, Fanatics revealed a massive drive to become one of the biggest betting operators in North America, for example.

However, breaking into these lucrative markets is by no means an easy (or affordable) feat. In Maine, fees and charges are being imposed which means that only the top-most tier of betting operators stand a chance of entering the scene. For instance, there’s a background check fee of $5,000 (or $10,000 for online-only operators), as well as an application fee of $200,000 if the sportsbook wants to provide a mobile solution.

If there’s a brick-and-mortar location on the application, it’s another $4,000, plus $40,000 for a management services license application. That’s not all – if the operator has a long-term goal in the state, they’ll need to renew the licenses once every four years at the same rate. Finally, there are the exorbitant insurance costs as well as the 10% of gross wagering receipts owed to the state.

But it doesn’t end there.

Maine’s government is also imposing a long list of rules and regulations that determine how an operator operates. For instance, there must be strict data collection processes in place, a rigorous know-your-customer process, and there are heavy restrictions on advertising. For instance, a sports betting license holder in Maine cannot use celebrities, athletes, entertainers, or cartoon characters in their advertising materials, and there are restrictions on when, where, and how they can actually advertise.

There are a lot of boxes to tick, but for operators looking to enter yet another profitable region, Maine is surely being seen as a valuable market to break into. There are expectations that, with finalising plans and hosting more talks, the sports betting markets in Maine won’t go live until long into 2024.

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Grant Taylor-Hill

Grant is a lifelong, multi-platform gamer with a passion for journalism and more than ten years' experience in the industry. He'll try any game once, and when he's not playing them, he's watching them, being as he is an avid esports fan.

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