DraftKings has reached an agreement in principle to partner with the Passamaquoddy tribe and launch an online sportsbook in the state of Maine.
The deal, DraftKings says, remains subject to licensing and regulatory approvals. Should it get the green light, DraftKings and the Passamaquoddy tribe will jointly launch the Maine-facing sports betting offering.
Players aged 21 and over will be able to access the DraftKings sports betting app. This offers a wide range of wagering options across various sports leagues and competitions.
The launch would mark the 25th US state in which DraftKings offers sports wagering.
“Building a relationship with the Passamaquoddy tribe is a fantastic opportunity for DraftKings, as we look to bring customers in the state of Maine safe and legal sports betting,” DraftKings co-founder and CEO Jason Robins said.
“We look forward to our continued collaboration with the Maine Gambling Control Unit as we become the official mobile sports betting provider of the Passamaquoddy tribe and launch in our industry-leading 25th state.”
Tribal chief William Nicholas also spoke highly of the deal. He said: “The Passamaquoddy tribe is excited to enter into a mobile sports wagering agreement with DraftKings.
“We couldn’t have landed a better organisation in the mobile sports wagering arena. We look forward to continued progress and investment for future growth in the state of Maine.”
Online and retail betting legal in Maine – with a twist
In May 2022, Maine governor Janet Mills signed a bill allowing both retail and online sports betting in the state. The twist in LD 585, however, is that internet sports wagering can only be operated by Maine’s approved tribes.
The state’s four Native American tribes have previously been excluded from most forms of gambling in Maine. However, the bill says each tribe can apply for a licence to operate online sports betting. Tribes may then partner with one online operator each.
With DraftKings partnering the Passamaquoddy tribe, this relationship satisfies tribal rules set out in the bill. The licence fee for mobile sports betting is $200,000, which must be paid every four years.
As for retail wagering, combined racetracks and off-track betting facilities in Maine can apply for land-based licences. These are priced at $4,000, with this due every four years.
The bill also says that if mobile gaming is ever made legal in the state, the four tribes must be provided the same access to the market as commercial operators.