Re: “Our View: Gov. Mills’ sports betting veto was the right call” (Jan. 14):

I’m proud to be a free-market conservative. I’ve supported common-sense practices, stood up for our community and been a friend to local and small businesses. Gov. Mills’ veto of sports betting was a step in the wrong direction for Maine, the communities in my district and the small businesses that benefit alongside this new industry.

It is important to remember that for every new industry we create in Maine, other businesses support and benefit from its operation. I’ve spoken to many in my district who are counting on the legalization of sports betting to grow their business, including many restaurants and breweries. These businesses, among others, all have a vested interest in seeing sports betting in Maine; it means more people through their doors and needing their services.

The bill we passed through the Legislature last year, L.D. 553, created a safe and competitive legal sports betting market. We did not rush to conclusions, but studied various approaches and consulted experts. We created what was best for Maine and our people. In our framework, we let competition and the free market drive the industry, while only allowing the best operators to conduct their business, in a safe and measured way.

Maine residents are already betting, either illegally or, now, across the border in New Hampshire. Overriding Gov. Mills’ veto is not only standing up for small businesses and the free market, but it’s standing for our people and against the illegal sports betting market. I urge my colleagues in the Legislature to vote to override this veto.

Sen. Matt Pouliot


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