Maine is one of the smallest States in the US both by population and by land size. It is situated on the far north east, with borders along Canada and New Hampshire. Gambling in Maine is minimal with only two land based race track casinos. But that’s not to say you won’t have an enjoyable time.
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A quick overview of Maine gaming is as follows:
- The State allows for a maximum of only two commercial casinos to be strategically located within the borders. These casinos are regulated by the Maine Gambling Control Board.
- There are four tribal casinos located in the State, regulated by the The Maine Indian Settlements Act, and are restricted to offering bingo only.
- Horse race and off-track betting is permitted at licensed facilities, however greyhound racing and simulcasts of greyhound racing are not permitted. Horse racing is regulated by the Maine State Harness Racing Commission.
- The State does not expressly prohibit online gaming, but declares that onshore online casino operators are against the law. Therefore Players continue to play at offshore online casinos, placing Maine as the 43rd ranked State for wagers placed offshore at $2.7m annually.
- The minimum gambling age is 16 for bingo, 18 for lottery and pari-mutuel wagering, 21 for casino gaming.
Maine has a variety of gambling outlets, but none are what you may consider full suite grandeur of Las Vegas. Veering towards the small scale of town the gambling experience at the brick and mortar venues aren’t going to be that flashy. If you were to gamble, stick to Maine’s strengths of harness horse racing.
There are two good sized race casinos, Scarborough Downs and Hollywood Casino Hotel Raceway in Bangor. These are two solid large venues, well presented and maintained and is the draw card for gambling in Maine. You will be able to bet on the horses and enjoy a days outting at these venues.
There is also one small stand alone casino called Oxford Casino. A quaint little venue, good for stopping by if it’s along your travel way.
Unlike other US States, no free drinks are allowed to be given to patrons – it is against the law. So don’t expect to enter and be able to have a great time purely drinking the beverages.
Interestingly, there are four tribal casinos which aren’t regulated by the Federal law – Indian Gambling Regulatory Act (IGRA), when in all other States tribal casinos are. This Federal Act was initiated in 1988 to provide a framework and governance for all tribal casinos to abide by. The four in Maine, however, are governed by The Maine Indian Settlements Act which restricts the casinos to offering high stakes bingo games only.
Bingo falls under the category of charitable gaming and is therefore legal in Maine. You will also find many small bingo halls scattered through the State.
Maine Online Gambling
It’s easy to enjoy a few online bets for residents in Maine. Unlike many other US states, Maine is very lenient in enforcing laws prohibiting online gambling. In fact, there are no reported instances of anyone in Maine having been charged for gambling online! Maine enforcement agencies, however, do take strong stance against illegal casino operators, and therefore you will find no onshore online casinos, only offshore online casinos.
Online sports betting remains illegal with the sports legalization bill raised in April 2019, waiting to be approved before online sports betting can proceed.
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) was legalized in 2017. If you’re wanting to place a sports bet, then DFS is the next best thing, and it is legal. Create sport teams and compete for prize monies! FanDuel and DraftKing now offer a vast selection of betting options, with quick rounds. No longer do you have to wait an entire season to complete a betting round.
Maine ranks as the 43rd in the US for playing amounts wagered at offshore online casinos. Wagering an estimated $2.7 million per year, it ranks just above New Mexico and behind Rhode Island. The state with the largest wagering for offshore online casino is California at $180 million.
Overview of Maine Casinos
In these two casinos, you’ll find more than 1,723 slots and gaming machines. There are a total of 38 table games.
Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor
500 Main Street, Bangor, Maine
Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway Bangor offers 30,000 square feet of gaming space with 923 slot machines, 16 gaming tables, and four poker tables with live action Texas Hold ‘Em games, 7-stud, and Omaha. Nice clean rooms good service friendly staff
777 Casino Way, Oxford, Maine
A recent expansion added 2,200 square feet to the gaming space. This is the home of wicked good fun, wicked good food, and wicked good games. Try your hand at one of over 800 slots or video poker games or one of the 22 gaming tables. Great service, great atmosphere.
Maine has yet to legalize sports betting, but there is change in the air. Five bills have been presented to government for deliberation in April 2019, with no co-ordinated opposition to the five bills. There is recognition that without following other key US States that are moving quickly to open sports betting to their residents, there is potential for significant lost revenue. That’s not to say that the government will act with the quickest for change, however there is no indication that there will be any opposition at this point in time.
The bills raised with allow for retail distribution of sports betting through eleven pre-existing gaming venues in Maine. One race track,two casinos, four off track betting facilities and the four tribal casinos. Should the bills be passed, this should pave the way forward for further reformation to gambling laws.
There is a State lottery has been operating since 1974. They participate in the nation lotteries of Powerball and Mega Millions, and also offer their own instant win tickets and scratch tickets. They do not offer any online lotteries.
Residents of Maine – you can own any slot machine you like! Unlike many other US states, there is no age restriction for owning a slot machine. The age restrictions are usually in place to prevent profiteering from operation a slot machine for gambling purposes. I.e. the intention is to have owning a slot machine as a hobby or as a antique collectors item. In Maine, however, there is no such age requirement on the slot machine.
A Lawyer’s Opinion
Maine has a positive relationship with land-based casinos, racinos, multiple bingo halls, the lottery, and horse racing. See 17-A M.R.S. § 951 et seq.; 8 M.R.S. § 285 et seq.; 8 M.R.S. § 261A et seq.
Sports Betting: Online betting on fantasy sports was legalized in 2017, permitting FanDuel, DraftKings and others to operate within the state so long as they follow the regulations on operation. Despite what seemed like a sure call, Maine legislators failed to pass an online sports bill (L.D. 553), slotting it for review in January. Thus, general sportsbook making, remains prohibited. Individuals who wish to make online sportsbooks, thus, must do so through platforms operating outside of the state.
Race Betting: Like in many states, horse betting is legal in Maine at its racing tracks as well as other venues that allow pari-mutuel betting. Off-track betting is permitted at its three off-track betting facilities, which also have simulcasting. Individuals who prefer to bet online must do so through platforms operating outside of the state.
Online Gambling: Online gambling, including participation in poker rooms, is not permitted in the state of Maine. Thus, individuals wishing to participate in online gambling, including poker and other such games of skill, must place bets online through platforms operating outside of the state.
Online Gaming: Social online gaming is permitted licensed casinos is permitted, with online casinos like DoubleDown, MyVegas, and others accepting Maine residents.
The information in this multi-state research is made available by a licensed, U.S. attorney, and is for informational purposes only. We make no representations that the information is complete or correct in its entirety. It should not be construed as providing specific legal advice, and you acknowledge that no attorney/client relationship exists between us. This brief should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed gambling and entertainment lawyer in your state.
Wikipedia: Gambling in Maine.