Sports betting won't be legal in Maine in time for the Super Bowl or March Madness.
Milton Champion, head of Maine's Gambling Control Unit, speaks to reporters Wednesday about proposed rules for sports betting in the state in Augusta. Credit: Robert F. Bukaty / AP

Maine released proposed rules for sports betting on Wednesday, but it will be months before the first wagers are placed.

The law adopted by state lawmakers went into effect in August, but the director of the Maine Gambling Control Unit said it was important to move slowly to get the rules right.

A timeline laid out by Milt Champion suggested licenses could be issued between April and January. He said he could not be more specific until the public weighs in on the proposed rules.

That means sports betting won’t be legal in Maine in time for the Super Bowl or college basketball’s March Madness.

Democratic Gov. Janet Mills gave control of mobile and online sports betting market to Native American tribes in Maine, providing an olive branch after she threatened to veto their proposal for greater sovereignty.

Each tribe can select its own vendor, meaning there could be up to four licenses for online and mobile sports betting.

Maine’s existing casinos in Bangor and Oxford also can request licenses along with off-track wagering parlors.