Maine Predicts Rise in Summer Sports Betting Amid Retail Sportsbook Frustration

“You may see some good numbers this year," MGCU executive director says with Summer Olympics approaching.

Ziv Chen - Contributor at
Ziv Chen • Contributor
Jun 16, 2024 • 06:21 ET • 4 min read
Rafael Devers
Photo By - USA TODAY Sports

The executive director of the Maine Gambling Control Unit (MGCU) expects a rise in sports wagers across the state this summer, with the 2024 Paris Olympics set to kick off on July 26. At the same time, local lawmakers have voiced frustration that there are still no retail sports betting options in the state, two years following legalization.

Maine sports betting became legal in May 2022 and while online sports betting launched in November 2023 through Caesars and DraftKings, retail sportsbooks are yet to go live.

“You may see some good numbers this year," MGCU executive director Milton Champion said, according to Maine Public. "And you may see less numbers yet next year. But if that’s the case, I’ll surely have the idea that it was probably a little bit less because there’s no Olympic events in the summer of 2025." 

An American Gaming Association survey showed that 20 million Americans planned to bet on the most recent Summer Olympics, held in Tokyo in 2021.

The statement comes as Maine Senator Joe Baldacci recently wrote a letter to Champion expressing his disappointment with the state's lack of retail sports betting, hoping to spark a movement toward a retail launch.

“It is both surprising and unacceptable that not a single retail operator has commenced operations,” wrote Baldacci. “There’s no other place where you could find this level of stagnation.”

So far, Mainers have wagered around $200 million in Maine sports betting on the platforms this year, generating $2 million in tax revenue for the state. However, this will be the first summer with legal online sportsbooks in the state, and online sports betting typically slows down in the summer months. Activity will usually ramp up in September when the NFL season commences. 

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