Governor Janet Mills Decides That Maine Doesn't Want Legalized Sports Betting

Published on January 10th, 2020 6:12 pm EST
Written By: Dave Manuel



The Bug Light - popular destination in Maine, United States of America. Earlier today, Maine Governor Janet T. Mills released a statement in which she announced that she would be vetoing the state's proposed sports betting bill, L.D. 553.

The passing of L.D. 553, aka "An Act to Ensure Proper Oversight of Sports Betting in the State", would have made Maine the 22nd state to allow legal sports betting.

The bill had been sitting on Mills' desk for months, as Maine's legislation passed the bill in the summer of 2019.

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In rejecting the bill, Mills made a number of arguments, a number of which fall on the ignorant side.

First - she essentially said that she doesn't understand how sites would have the technology to detect and prevent problem gamblers and underage gamblers. Since she couldn't personally comprehend how this technology would work, she chose to veto the bill.

In addition, she also made the case that the legalization of sports betting would lead to betting on absolutely everything, including spelling bees and school board elections. How many school board elections are bet on in the United Kingdom, where sports betting is perfectly legal?

On top of that, Mills also states that since revenues have fallen short of expectations in some states that have allowed sports betting, legalization likely isn't worth the trouble.

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Mills also trots out the same argument that is constantly being used by Sheldon Adelson - that gambling advertising would lure in the most vulnerable in our society. Adelson, who runs a company that owns multiple casinos, often argues that online gaming is evil and that you are much better off losing all of your money in his casinos.

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Mills also states that she remains unconvinced that the "majority of Maine people" would support legalized and regulated betting on sports. A number of polls that I have seen online would seem to put the amount of support at about 50/50 - it's hard to imagine that an overwhelming majority of the state of Maine would be opposed to legal betting on sports.

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In short - if you are a resident of Maine, you'd better get used to travelling out of the state if you want to make your legal sports bets, as Governor Mills seems like she isn't going to be changing her mind anytime soon.

Source: Maine.gov - Governor Janet Mills' Statement Re: L.D. 553 (*.pdf)

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