While Maine legalized sports betting at the beginning of May, local regulators are still finalizing the required legal framework. While retail wagering will be available at the state’s two casinos, the online segment remains reserved for its four tribes. With Caesars’ help, they can capitalize on this exclusive advantage, securing a substantial revenue stream.
Maine Remains a Challenging Market
The Pine Tree State is well underway to launch its first sports betting operations. Local authorities hope to be ready by the end of summer but envision significant restrictions. A 10% tax on sports wagering revenue and limited advertising means that the online segment, reserved for Maine’s four tribes, may have a rough start.
Any mobile sports betting operators must first secure a tribal partner, providing them with 50% of revenues. That fact, combined with Maine’s small population of 1.37 million, means that any high-profile companies seeking to capitalize on the new market will be hard-pressed to make a profit. While such prospects turned away industry giants like FanDuel and DraftKings, Caesars has stepped in to fill the gap.
Caesars’ Swift Actions Guarantee a Leading Position
The leading operator has secured agreements with the Houlton Band, Mi’kmaq, and Penobscot tribes, securing three-quarters of the regulated online market. Such a dominant position will be instrumental in offsetting the challenging business conditions but may leave Maine bettors with limited choices. The Passamaquoddy Tribe is yet to name a partner, but Caesars’ early dominance might make other sportsbooks hesitant to enter the market.
Caesars Digital president Eric Hession stated the company was looking forward to cooperating with local regulators to provide Maine bettors with a world-class experience focused on responsible gaming. The operator used the opportunity to reiterate its continued support of Indian gaming, hoping the deal would benefit the local tribes.
“We are proud to be chosen by the Houlton Band, Mi’kmaq, and Penobscot as they have championed the legislation to bring significant revenues to their members and the state of Maine.”
Eric Hession, Caesars Digital president
Giving Maine’s tribes exclusive control over online sports betting is part of an initiative to provide them with rights comparable to those in other states. Tribal representatives lauded Caesars’ commitment and experience, adding that the partnership would guarantee annual mandatory minimum payments for members. If Maine’s fledgling market performs well, the agreement will provide an invaluable revenue stream for these communities.