Live sports betting in Maine is nearing the completion of its first month, and revenue numbers are in line with predictions set leading up to its launch.

Through Nov. 29, covering 27 days, the state reported an income of $480,193.01 through the mobile sports betting market, coming from DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook. Averaging out to just under $17,785 per day, that extends to over $6.49 million over 365 days; Gambling Control Unit Executive Director Milt Champion estimated in 2022 that sports wagering in Maine could earn the state between $3.8 million and $6 million per year.

While estimating yearly profits based on one month is tricky – fall months with football are busier than spring and summer months – the early returns are encouraging.

“I think you’re seeing a pretty good strong start. … It shows that Mainers wanted this and are enjoying it,” said Steven Silver, the chair of the Gambling Control Board. “I think we’re right on target with projections, and $400,000-plus in under a month to the state is really great.”

Through Nov. 29, Maine’s sports betting handle – the total amount wagered – was over $36 million, and the adjusted gross receipts (the amount left over after payouts, voided wagers, and federal tax) was over $4.8 million. The state gets 10% of the overall revenue through tax.

“We saw exactly what we expected to see, and why Maine wanted to launch now,” said John Holden, a professor at Oklahoma State University who has written extensively on the regulation of sports gambling. “This is sort of peak betting time. You have college football on Saturday and pro football on Sunday, and those are really the big days. … It sounds like, assuming things keep pace, (hitting the projections is) probably reasonable.”


The returns have been good, and, Holden said, “reasonable.”

“We didn’t see gangbusters,” he said. “Some of that may have been the slow lead-up to the launch, but I would expect these are fairly healthy numbers. They aren’t something where I’d expect a huge drop-off, just because of the fact that they’re … in line with some really reasonable estimates.”

Holden said those numbers should stay strong into the winter.

“I expect the next month, we might see some pickup,” he said. “We have college football going into championship weekend this week, the bowl games rolling out, NFL season is winding down, NFL playoffs are coming up. These are huge betting events. And then we’ve got March Madness. I’d expect a growth through the end of March, that first week of April … and then we’ll probably see it taper.”

Maine’s handle and gross revenue has already exceeded the amount that New Hampshire received in January 2020, its first full live month. New Hampshire saw a handle of $16,834,974, according to data provided by the state lottery, and drew $1,643,793 in gross revenue. The state’s keep was $719,909 for the month; New Hampshire gets 51% of the revenue left after DraftKings, the state’s lone provider, collects up to 15% for promotional spending.

Daniel Maloney, the director of sports betting for the New Hampshire Lottery, said the gambling scene has changed drastically in the nearly four months since the state went live, and encouraged more people to participate.


“It’s kind of amazing to see the progression in just a few years,” he said. “In January 2020, the majority of betting options … were your more traditional offerings: straight games, betting with the spread, money line, parlaying two or three football games together.

“There wasn’t near as much prop betting, and there wasn’t a lot of live betting. They were starting to introduce it. … Prop bets alone have gotten extremely popular. People enjoy being able to bet on something other than the outcome of a game.”

Maloney said New Hampshire benefits by Maine taking on sports betting.

“I believe so. Whenever a new state comes on, the first thing everyone always says is ‘Oh, well, this is going to destroy X.’ I think the best example of that was when New York went live, everyone thought New Jersey’s sports betting was going to shrivel up and die,” he said. “I really believe in the rising tide raises all boats kind of thing. Especially in New England, people travel so much.”

All mobile sports betting is done through DraftKings in New Hampshire, and the gambling giant has been dominant in Maine so far as well. Through Nov. 29, gamblers in Maine had bet just over $29.5 million through DraftKings, versus just over $6.5 million with Caesars.

Holden said he was “not at all” surprised to see DraftKings get off to a fast start.


“DraftKings being out front by a substantial, healthy margin is pretty on point with what we’re seeing around the country,” he said. “Some of it is a lot of people had DraftKings accounts and played daily fantasy sports before sports betting was legal. They’re familiar with it, it’s been in their hands since 2013, 2014.”

Mobile betting is the only revenue that has come in so far, as Silver said Maine’s in-person betting locations aren’t taking wagers yet.

“I don’t know what the delays were,” Silver said, “other than (Champion) was pretty clear that the go-live was going to happen in November and some folks were slow to get going.”

Several off-track betting locations won’t be ready for weeks and months, and Silver said it’s a drawn-out process for the casinos to add sports betting as well. He said he’d be “shocked” if Maine’s two casinos in Oxford and Bangor took bets before the start of 2024.

“I think there are some concerns with the way the law is written and trying to figure out how do you physically put it in the casino. … It’s not an easy fix,” Silver said. “The legislature, in my opinion, overlooked the practical realities of trying to run a sportsbook in a casino, but with a totally different set of rules and a different regulator. … Nobody really knows how this is going to play out.”

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