Maine has today (3 November) officially opened its legal sports betting market, with both Caesars and DraftKings already live in the state.
Milt Champion, executive director for the Maine Gambling Control Unit (GCU), only told iGB of the launch plans in the middle of the week. Now, just a few days later, the sports betting market is now live, with consumers already placing bets.
DraftKings is one of two operators to go live on opening day despite only confirming its plans for betting Maine earlier this week. It has linked up with the Passamaquoddy tribe to launch online.
Also launching today is Caesars who are going live in partnership with three of the Wabanaki Nations. These include the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, Mi’kmaq Nation and Penobscot Nation.
“Maine sports fans deserve an elevated sports wagering experience that matches the pedigree of sports fandom in New England,” Caesars Digital president Eric Hession said. “The launch of Caesars Sportsbook delivers on that pedigree.
“We have a platform built for the modern sports fan 21 and older with exciting ways to wager responsibly on the sports they love. We’d like to thank Governor Janet Mills and the Maine legislature for making this launch possible, as well as the Maine Gambling Control Unit (MGCU) for all they have done throughout this process.”
Genius also set to launch in Maine
News also emerged today that Genius Sports has secured a temporary gaming licence from the MGCU. This means Genius now holds 43 licences, or equivalent, in North America across US states, territories, tribes and Canada.
Genius is the exclusive distributor of NFL official league data. It says it powers more than 98% of the regulated North American sportsbook market.
“We are honoured that the MGCU has awarded Genius Sports its temporary gaming licence to enable sportsbooks to access our full suite of solutions including our ground-breaking BetVision streaming tool,” Genius CEO Mark Locke said.
“Powered by the highest quality official data, our products are proven to help sportsbooks drive trading profits and cost efficiencies while engaging players at every step.”
Maine sports betting: a long time coming
The market launches almost 18 months after sports betting was legalised in Maine. Governor Mills signed a bill allowing retail and online sports wagering last spring. However, LD 585 states internet sports wagering can only be operated by approved tribes in the state.
Tribes can apply for a licence to operate online betting. They may also partner one online operator each.
Turning to retail wagering, combined racetracks and off-track betting facilities can apply for land-based licences.