The process of legalizing gambling in the US, after the Supreme Court decision to leave the final verdict to the states, faces significant road bumps ahead, shows the latest development with the State of Maine, where the state government successfully passed the required bill to allow the introduction of sports betting in the state only to see their efforts hit a wall due to Governor Janet Mills refusal to endorse the bill:
“…I remain unconvinced at this time that the majority of Maine people are ready to legalize, support, endorse and promote betting on competitive athletic events”
After choosing not to address the bill in 2019 by opting to instead take extra time and even keep the option for the bill to become law even without her signature, the veto of Gov. Mills on legalizing sports betting did not come as a surprise and would probably make some people within the state government pause and rethink, at the very least, their real motives behind the decision, even re-assess the positives and negatives for the different societal groups that their decision affects.
Sports Betting Millions Not Coming?
The veto raises a voice of concern for those willing to listen that expected benefits from sports betting, as shown by the experience of the states that have already approved it, might significantly deviate from initial expectations.
By asking the state to reassess its economic projections, Gov. Mills actually asks the question is letting this new market in the state be worth the price the state people will pay in terms of changes in the society, i.e. exposing the future generations and other vulnerable people in general to significant material losses.
She is reiterating her stance that social responsibility should be upheld by all starting from the state government, as even with the required regulation and protection measures in place, young people remain vulnerable, as the modern technological times we live in, where all forms of advertising take place and aggression is a prerequisite for success, no one can guarantee that these measures would be effective.
Gov. Mills’ veto practically throws a spanner in the future development plans for casinos, harness racing tracks, Native American tribes in Maine and off-track betting facilities to host sports betting operations, forcing them to postpone or even reverse business decisions in case her motives are taken seriously within the state government and lawmakers decide not to override the veto, and, even reconsider their approach to the subject.