Maine’s House and Senate Vote Against Online Casino Gambling Bill

Maine’s House of Representatives and Senate have voted against a bill that would have given the Wabanaki Nations the exclusive right to offer online gambling in the state.

LD 1777 would have allowed the tribes to build on their exclusive rights to sports betting in Maine. As it currently stands, tribal groups have complete control over the online sports betting industry. This bill would have seen this expanded to include online casino gaming.

The four Wabanaki tribes already offer online sports betting in the state under an earlier compromise negotiated between tribal leaders, Gov. Janet Mills and state lawmakers. Those mobile betting platforms that are operated by major players in the gaming industry launched last year.

However, the bill, which was sponsored by Rep. Laura Supica, failed to progress after the House voted 74-71 against its passage. It then failed on a 14-20 vote in the Senate on Tuesday, although senators later tabled the bill and could bring it back up.

Lawmakers’ Sentiments

Both Maine lawmakers in support and opposition of the bill have shared their thoughts following the decision. Republican Sen. Jeff Timberlake of Turner was among those who voted against the bill.

“This is basically saying people can sit at home and play slot machines on their computer all day long, and I just don’t think it’s the right thing to do,” Timberlake said. “It’s a real expansion of gambling in the state of Maine.”

Rep. David Boyer said ahead of the vote that as much as he wants to play online poker, this isn’t the way to do it. Rep. Boyer was concerned with the jobs that are at stake in Oxford and Bangor. He also noted that brick-and-mortar casinos have a very high tax rate.

The bill’s proponents argued that allowing a further expansion of gaming rights would help to address the inequalities against the tribes.

Rep. Aaron Dana, who represents the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point, said that if approved, the new rights would see the tribes invest even more heavily in the local community as opposed to private operators taking profits out of state,

“We would be spending all of that money here in the state of Maine, because we are also state of Maine citizens. This economic empowerment will not only strengthen tribal sovereignty, but also enhance the overall (well) being of tribal members.”

Sen. Stacy Brenner, D-Scarborough, added that Maine residents already have access to circumvent the technological hindrances that are supposed to prevent them from using online gambling sites in other states.

She stated that despite their frustrations or personal inclinations towards gambling, it is already happening in the state, 

“So if we want to bring that activity into the light and allow our tribes to have an economic opportunity from it. I believe that it’s important for us to support the measure.”

Rep. Supica, the bill’s sponsor added that much of the concern comes from the fact that it is exclusively for the tribes,

“But for me that is why I wholeheartedly support it, because this is a wonderful opportunity for the state of Maine to begin to make some corrections to how they have enacted past gaming laws.”

The bill was strongly opposed by the operators of Maine’s two existing casinos, Hollywood Casino in Bangor and Oxford Casino in Oxford. Tribal leaders have been trying both in the Legislature and at the ballot box, to win authorization to build brick-and-mortar casinos in Maine, but to no avail, and the recent failure of LD 1777 means that talks about online casino gambling have been put on hold for the time being.

Which States are Online Casinos Legal?

While Maine’s governing bodies have halted talks about the possible development and availability of online casinos in their territory, there are still other states that offer online casino options for players.

New Jersey

New Jersey is widely considered as the hub for online casino gaming. It is one of the first few states to legalize online casino gaming, and has since been active in developing the industry in its jurisdiction.


Delaware is the first state to legalize online gambling, but they were not the first one to launch online casinos. Their brick-and-mortar casinos and the Delaware Lottery have partnered with online casino operators to set the foundation for the burgeoning industry.

West Virginia

West Virginia was one of the first few states to offer online casinos. There are four online casino options in Mountain State, and more should be joining the group soon. They also have recently legalized online sports betting, and has the West Virginia Lottery Commission serve as the gambling regulator in the state and oversees all online casino sites there.


Starting with just two online casino options, Pennsylvania joined the online casino party back in 2019, and in a short space of time, The Keystone State has expanded its online casino landscape to offer nearly as many online gambling options as New Jersey. 

The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board oversees all online casino operations in the state.


One of the newer states to join the online casino club, Michigan is already making plenty of waves since its launch in 2021. Right now, there are more than a dozen available online casino apps, and they provide options from both big-name online casino operators and smaller outfits.

The Michigan Gaming Control Board monitors this diverse mixture of online casino options, and the state also offers legal sports betting.


Connecticut launched online casinos late in 2021, going live with just two options for casino players. CY has only tribal casinos currently. But it has then been slowly developing its online casino industry.

Last Updated on by jonathan r

Online Casino Games
© Copyright 2024 Online Casino Games