‘It’s Dead’ Says Sponsor of Maine Online Casino Bill That Would’ve Benefited Tribes

The Maine online casino bill that would’ve allowed tribes to partner with iGaming operators failed in both chambers of the Maine Legislature on April 16. “It’s dead,” LD1777 sponsor state Rep. Laura D. Supica told Bonus.

If it had passed and been approved by voters in November, the online gambling operators would have been Caesars and DraftKings. Both already partner with the state’s tribes to offer Mainers mobile sports betting.

However, at 10:08 p.m. on April 16, House members defeated a Senate-amended LD1777 in a 75-70 vote.

The changed Maine online casino bill had come from the Senate with firm approval. At 2:03 p.m. on April 16,  Senators passed LD1777 19-13. It contained an amendment sponsored by state Sen. Joe Baldacci, D-Penobscot, that would have asked Mainers to legalize online casino at the ballot box in November.

Supica, D-Bangor, texted Bonus at 10:43 p.m. on April 16:

Senate changed vote to ‘pass.’ Just lost in House by five votes. It’s dead.

So, with Maine’s defeat of LD1777, all of 2024’s iGaming efforts have failed. As a result, no new US online casino launches will happen because of this year’s sessions. However, bills in other states predeceased Maine’s.

Second Trip to the House

If a House vote on LD1777 seems like deja vu, it’s true.

Representatives defeated a version of the Maine online casino bill on April 10 that, if legislators had approved it, would have only required a signature from Gov. Janet Mills to become law. However, because the bill emerged from committee in split reports, Supica was able to send LD1777 to the Senate for consideration. The Senate added the referendum.

LD1777 Is Dead

On April 17, the Maine Legislature adjourns.

In its history, it will house LD1777. The iGaming bill was designed to include a 16% tax rate on operators who would have partnered with Maine’s tribes.

Supica said she designed the bill specifically to benefit tribes, partly because they weren’t given the opportunity to operate Maine’s two retail casinos.

Steve Silver, chairman of the Maine Gambling Control Board (GCB), told Bonus on April 16:

Four senators flipped their prior votes and decided to penalize Maine’s two casinos, put Mainers’ jobs at risk, and inject a highly addictive product into the state. It is a shocking turn of events …

Silver provided the comment before LD1777 died in the House.

About the Author

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher

Heather Fletcher is Lead Writer at Bonus, concentrating on online casino coverage. She specializes in breaking news, legislative coverage, and gambling marketing strategy overviews. To reach Heather with a news tip, email [email protected].
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