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Maine House Puts Kibosh on Online Casino Bill

There was a modicum of optimism that Maine would pass an online casino gambling bill this legislative session. That optimism is now out the window, as the House of Representatives chose not to move forward with it and thus ended any hopes of online casinos coming to Maine betting operations this year.

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The Maine betting bill first came up last year, and it would have given online casino operations to the Wabanaki Nations tribe. Originally Maine intended to vote on the bill at the beginning of 2024, but some extenuating circumstances led to some delays. Ultimately, the bill had some major rewrites before actually hitting the House floor.

The House voted the bill down narrowly in mid-April, but the Senate voted to revisit the bill with some changes. Those changes included putting the bill on the November ballot for voters to decide and allowing the tribe that operated gambling to partner with online operators to increase casino offerings.

These changes made no difference, and the Maine House voted the bill down once again. As it stands, the next chance for Maine to get online casino gambling will be the 2025 legislative session.

Like in many states that are dragging their feet for better or worse with gambling, this bill has had mixed levels of support. The obvious cases for are revenue for Maine and for Maine tribes, and the cases against are concerns about problem gaming and brick-and-mortar casinos possibly losing business to the online markets.

The state of Maryland shot down a similar bill earlier this month and did so for similar reasons.

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