The Star-Herald

Maine behind the eight ball as states sprint to legalize sports gambling

It’s being called a landmark Supreme Court decision and a historic day for American sports, as the U.S. Supreme Court has ruled that a federal ban on sports gambling is unconstitutional.

The ruling paves the way for states to legalize sports betting. But unlike dozens of other states that anticipated Monday’s ruling, Maine will be playing catch up if it wants to get involved in a multibillion-dollar sports gambling business.

The Supreme Court ruling overturned a 1992 federal law that blocked most states from legalizing betting on everything from the outcome of Tuesday’s Game 2 playoff matchup between NBA’s Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers, to New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady’s next touchdown pass.

But that doesn’t mean those wagers aren’t already happening.

Estimates from the American Gaming Association peg underground sports betting as a $150 million industry, and some consider that a very conservative estimate.

Now, the same association says legalized sports betting could be worth over $41 billion in revenue to the states that choose to allow it.

“There’s roughly about 30-35 states that are in the queue with either laws and or rulemaking,” says Maine Gambling Control Board director Milton Champion.

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