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Five sports betting bills on the table in Maine

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Maine is the latest US state to consider a move towards regulated sports betting.

State officials met with representatives from the gambling industry last Friday to discuss a plan of action.

There are no fewer than five gambling bills already on the table in Maine, all of which make mention of sports wagering.


Those in favour of legalisation are hoping to streamline the proposed law changes into a more coherent, coordinated package.

Maine already has a regulated gambling industry, with casinos in Bangor and Oxford as well as several racetracks and off-course betting shops.

According to Michael Sweeney, the publicity director at Scarborough Downs, a legitimate sports betting industry would give the state’s casinos and racecourses a significant shot in the arm.


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“This is an opportunity for industries that are home-grown, locally based, small mom-and-pop businesses to grow and thrive,” he told local reporters.

Milton Champion, the executive director of the Gambling Control Unit, believes Maine has to move with the times in order to keep pace with betting industries in nearby states.

“That there is only so much discretionary funds available, in my view, indicates that New England has or is very close to reaching its saturation point,” he said.

“It is essential, however, that we have the ability to offer what the competition offers.

“And by competition, I am referring to other states.”

The north-eastern states have led the US sports betting revolution, with Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Pennsylvania among the trendsetters.

However, Rhode Island is thus far the only state in the New England region to have legalised gambling on sporting events.

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