It’s been more than a year since the push to legalize sports betting took form as a proposed bill that Maine Congress has yet to pass amidst dissenting views. This article provides a comparison of how a U.S. state government pursues gambling legalization with a Southeast Asian country like Thailand.
Although Maine state legislators took up LD 1352 before going into a recess, the sports betting bill has headed back to the senate gambling committee. Any hopes of legalizing sports betting in Maine will get another chance of being taken up by Congress in 2022.
Actually, LD 1352 passed congressional legislation in 2020 but was sent back to Congress after Governor Janet Mills vetoed the original bill. So even if it passes congressional approval anew, only Governor Mills has the power to enact the bill. If she vetoes it again, Maine lawmakers will have to take a different course of action. They will be constrained to use their right to override the governor’s veto power by way of a two-thirds majority vote.
What Held Back Maine Senate from Passing the Bill
Although LD 1352 has the support of many Maine Senators, they are divided about the concept of tethering the state’s sports betting industry to land-based casino operations. Similar to how the state of New Jersey and Connecticut legalized sports betting, bookmakers have to have a land-based casino to work with as partner in their gambling operations.
Many believe that the lack of casino tethering is the main reason why Gov. Mills vetoed the 2020 sports betting bill. Apparently, the Maine Governor was protecting the interest of the state’s casinos since they are a great part of her political support.
Inasmuch as most sports betting operations are taking place online, the only way that state regulators can monitor revenues derived from their jurisdictions is to link the sports betting platform to a Maine land-based casino. Not surprisingly, majority of the businesses in Maine supporting the legalization of sports betting also support the casino tethering.
After all, even with a revenue-sharing agreement, the state government must ensure transparency of all online transactions by tethering the platform to a physical gambling establishment.
The contention is that casino operators have invested heavily in building their business in Maine and are strictly monitored specifically for taxation purposes.
It’s only fair that the government protects them from the unfair advantage posed by online gambling operators that run 90% of their business online in any location.
Comparing Thai Gambling Laws with the U.S.
Currently, Thai lawmakers in support of casino gambling in the country are still struggling to have their proposals recognized in Thailand’s parliament. This despite Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha’s January 2021 announcement of plans to hold public discussions on whether or not to legalize casino gambling in the country.
Although historically, gambling in any form was allowed in the country, certain political and social occurrences led to the eventual prohibition of gambling, except for lotteries and on horse-racing contests. However, PM Chan-o-cha has voiced concerns that due to the COVID-19 outbreak, illegal gambling operations have taken a turn for the worse. Apparently, the government has been spending heavily on crackdowns that work only temporarily.
Online gambling is regarded as illegal in Thailand but คาสิโนออนไลน์ได้เงินจริงฝากขั้นต่ํา100 ( online casinos for real money that require only a minimum deposit of 100 baht) have gained patronage among local Thai gamblers. Recent Thai research reveal that about 60% of the country’s 70 million population engage in some form of illegal gambling.
While Maine lawmakers are still in active pursuit of a sports betting bill no matter how long it takes, the opposite is true in Thailand. Apparently, majority of Thailand’s gambling public are content with the online gambling sites being run by Asia-based operators that now offer localized gambling and sports betting services, including digital payment systems using Thai currency