No excuse not to have legal sports betting in Maine in 2019

Stephen Mardigan was in the news this week. He was sentenced to fifteen months in prison for running a gambling outfit in Portland.

He was raking in the dough taking sports bets. As part of the sentence a Judge ordered Mardigan to forfeit eighteen Greater Portland properties, worth $13 million, as well as more than $1.1 million in cash. He was also ordered to pay $1.3 million dollars in taxes.

I find it interesting that he received less prison time than the prosecutors wanted because betting is “part of Americana that in the form of the lottery and casinos — is often sanctioned by the state” according to the court.

True. But not sports betting, at least in Maine.

That’s because our elected state leaders have their heads buried deep in an Augusta snow bank when it comes to legalizing sports betting here.

Many other states in the northeast, are moving fast to allow betting.

It is now legal, or bills have been passed, in more than 20 states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and Rhode Island.

Rhode Island, which is smaller than Maine in every way, is laughing all the way to the bank while we cry in the potholes we cant afford to fix.

The day after the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the old gambling law back in May, Rhode Island Senate committees met to discuss legalizing sports betting

The state passed sports betting legislation on June 22. The first legal bet in Rhode Island and New England was placed on Nov. 26.

They expect around 25 million in tax revenue this year and double that when they start on line betting in the state soon.

Maine has the casinos. George Hale has connections on this topic. He told me the casinos are chomping at the bit to move on this.

George agrees with me that Maine is behind. But multiple bills have been introduced already this year in Augusta. That’s great!

Could this state use $50 million dollars in new revenue? You bet.

Im doubling down on my message to Augusta. Make this happen. Now.

jeff@sportschowdah.com

www.sportschowdah.com

Jeff Solari

About Jeff Solari

Jeff Solari is currently the co-host of the Drive airing from 4-6pm on 92.9FM, The Ticket in Bangor. He is the president and founder of the Sports Chowdah, Maine’s only free, weekly sports e mail newsletter. Recently, he has been a contributor and fill-in host on the Downtown show and for the past two years has been the 5 p.m. host of The DRIVE on 92.9FM in Bangor.