AUGUSTA, Maine — Maine’s sports activities betting framework is taking form and could possibly be on monitor for a summer time launch if regulators can avert thorny disputes with the gaming trade and others in search of to revenue from it.
States have rushed to implement legal guidelines governing sports activities betting after a landmark 2018 determination by the U.S. Supreme Court docket allowed it nationwide. Maine has been on the gradual facet of this regulatory motion, with Gov. Janet Mills vetoing a invoice to take action earlier than signing one final yr.
The market is predicted to be small, with Maine’s gaming regulator anticipating not more than $6.9 million in annual income. Operators will probably be taxed at 10 p.c of gross income. Tribes could have unique entry to the cellular market, which is predicted to account for 85 p.c of betting. Maine’s two casinos and its off-track betting parlors will management in-person betting.
The state is now growing guidelines that govern the finer factors of the system. A draft set that was launched final month is usually uncontroversial, except for strict limits on promoting. Regulators are accepting suggestions till March 5, then they’ve 4 months to finalize guidelines.
Right here’s how it’s coming collectively.
TV stations need extra promoting freedom.
Maine’s draft sports activities betting guidelines are most exceptional for his or her advert restrictions, that are among the strictest ones promulgated thus far within the nation, in keeping with the Philadelphia-based regulation agency White and Williams LLP. They fall hardest on TV networks.
Throughout all advert platforms, the principles would bar skilled athletes, celebrities or entertainers from selling betting, one thing that’s frequent within the trade right here however banned in the UK. Operators would even have to provide all advert materials to Maine’s Playing Management Unit 10 days earlier than it’s aired or distributed. That language is much like a provision in Tennessee, however that state requires advert materials to be filed as much as 5 days after it goes out.
On TV, sports activities betting advertisements can be restricted to the identical channel that the sporting occasion is being performed on. Promotions or bonuses can be barred from TV advertisements, however on-line and radio advertisements aren’t talked about in that part.
Lots of these guidelines are unworkable and unconstitutional, Tim Moore, CEO of the Maine Affiliation of Broadcasters, mentioned at a Tuesday listening to. Milton Champion, the pinnacle of the gaming unit, instructed WABI he’ll have a look at these objects individually and search for options.
“It will be a mistake in our view to delay [sports betting] implementation with authorized battles over laws that will virtually definitely not maintain up in court docket,” Moore mentioned.
Maine has frequent limits on promoting to youthful folks.
Solely folks in Maine over age 21 can place bets. Limits on promoting additionally prolong to bodily advertising and marketing at schools and universities. Cartoon characters are additionally not allowed for use in advertisements. All of this aligns with an American Gaming Affiliation code on “accountable advertising and marketing.”
Not all sportsbooks are members of the affiliation, together with Caesars Sportsbook, which has signed offers with some universities to advertise gaming. Maine’s guidelines quantity to an try to move off advertising and marketing on school campuses.
Betting corporations even have to hold huge insurance coverage insurance policies.
One other distinctive side of Maine’s draft coverage is an insurance coverage requirement for operators. Surety bonds are frequent necessities in betting and different public contracts that assure that defend the general public if a service goes badly, however the guidelines go far past that.
Maine is among the many first states to require at the very least $5 million in cyber legal responsibility insurance coverage protection and the identical quantity in errors and omissions insurance coverage. These insurance policies intention to guard the trade in lawsuits over potential knowledge breaches or main skilled errors.