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Maine Senate overrides veto on sports betting

6th February, 17:25

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) -- The Maine Senate voted 20-10 Thursday to override Gov. Janet Mills' veto of a bill to allow sports betting in the state. The House will now take up the proposal.

Democratic Gov. Janet 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's approval sends the proposal to the House, where another two-thirds majority vote would be needed to become law.

The bill would allow casino operators, off-track betting facilities, American Indian tribes and harness race tracks to host sports betting.

New Hampshire and Rhode Island are among states that allow sports betting, and sports betting bills are pending in Connecticut, Vermont and Massachusetts, said Dan Wallach, co-founding director of the Sports Wagering and Integrity Program at the University of New Hampshire School of Law.

"Sports betting is a colossal industry and none of that economic opportunity is being captured by states that fail to adopt sports betting laws," he said.

When she vetoed the bill, Mills said the state needs to take a closer look at sports betting before jumping headlong into it. Maine already has two casinos, one in Bangor and one in Oxford in western Maine.

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