Maine sports betting market is beginning to open up and gambling companies are already seeking a foothold in the tiny state. Even so, no major players in the industry are seen talking to any of the state’s Native American tribes for a partnership. The cause is said to be rooted in the revenue structure that too heavily benefits the local area.
Maine Legislature passed a bill giving the Wabanaki tribes to own the right to mobile sports betting although it might need two years to start operating. Even so, the lawmakers still designate in-person gambling to casinos and off-track betting parlors.
Several gambling companies already reached out to tribes in the state for a partnership, but none of them are coming from leaders of the industry such as DraftKings or FanDuel.
Maine has designed the structure of its sports betting revenue to put far more benefits towards the local tribes which leave the companies with very small revenue. Only minor companies can withstand the rule and serve the gamblers in the state. They can be the temporary solution until the rule is changed and big players can finally come to Maine.
Executive director of Maine Gambling Control Unit Milton Champion said 12 entities have offered the information about their services. One is the NFL which represents Oxford Casino, sports data trackers, payment companies, and geolocators.
“There’s clearly some interest,” Champion said. “But let’s face it, Maine isn’t a $6 million state. It’s not going to push out big numbers.”
John Pappas, state advocacy director of the gaming policy group iDEA Growth commented on why bigger companies are reluctant to open in Maine. He said major entities in the gambling industry will less be attracted to the revenue rule since it will only allow companies to keep 30 to 40 percent of revenue. The rest 60 to 70 percent must go to the state’s pocket.
Another reason for companies to look away from Maine is because it limits the number of sports betting licenses in the state.
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