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Maine Legislature sustains governor's veto of sports betting -

11th February, 18:16

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) -- A proposal in the Maine Legislature to legalize sports betting died Tuesday when it failed to win enough support to override the governor's veto.

The 85-57 vote in the Maine House fell short of a two-thirds majority needed to become law over the objection of Democratic Gov. Janet Mills.

Mills vetoed the bill last month, saying she was "unconvinced" that the majority of Mainers were ready to "legalize, support, endorse and promote betting on competitive athletic events."

The Senate voted to override the veto by a single vote last week.

But a Republican lawmaker who cast the crucial vote later said she'd voted the wrong way by mistake. Sen. Lisa Keim, of Dixfield, realized her error after the vote had closed and it was too late to be reconsidered.

In the end, that didn't matter.

The bill would have allowed casino operators, off-track betting facilities, Native American tribes and harness racing tracks to host sports betting with wagering taxed at 10%. Online and mobile betting would have been taxed at 16%.

All told, 20 states have adopted sports betting since a U.S. Supreme Court decision in 2018 opened the door to legalized gambling on sporting events, said Dan Wallach, co-founding director of the Sports Wagering and Integrity Program at the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

In New England, New Hampshire and Rhode Island allow sports betting, and proposals are pending in Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts, Wallach said.

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