Sports Betting

The Maine Gambling Control Unit predicts a rise in sports betting this summer

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Maine state flag pic

In Maine, the executive director of the Maine Gambling Control Unit (MGCU) is predicting a rise in sports betting this summer. That’s because of the 2024 Olympics being held in Paris. They start on July 26. While the Olympics might boost the industry this summer, local lawmakers are still frustrated. The state still doesn’t have any retail sports betting locations despite it being legalized for over two years. In May 2022, sports betting became legal in Maine. 

Online sports betting launched in November 2023, less than a year ago. Caesars and DraftKings are the two legal operators in the Pine Tree State. Despite the revenue from online sportsbooks, the state still has zero retail sportsbooks open for business. MGCU executive director Milton Champion had this to say.

“You may see some good numbers this year,” said Champion. “And you may see less numbers yet next year. But if that’s the case, I’ll surely have the idea that it was probably a little bit less because there’s no Olympic events in the summer of 2025.”

What pushbacks has Maine seen from regulators in the industry?

The most recent Olympic Games was held in Tokyo in 2021. According to the American Gaming Association, a survey showed that 20 million Americans planned to bet on the Olympics. That’s a positive sign for revenue to be had in 2024 from the Olympics. However, that doesn’t seem to be the biggest issue upsetting Maine regulators They are more worried about the state having zero retail sportsbooks open for business. Maine Senator Joe Baldacci said it’s “unacceptable” that not a single retail sportsbook is open in the state.

Is the sports betting industry surviving in Maine?

In May, Maine sportsbooks saw $39.8 million in bets. Roughly a 4% increase. Only two sportsbooks are available online for residents of Maine. They are Caesars and Draftkings. The latter currently dominates the market. DraftKings is one of the top sportsbooks in the US and there’s no surprise they have the best odds available in Maine. Not much competition for them. Last month, their statewide handle was $39.8 million. DraftKings accounted for $33.1 million of that handle.