Maine is home to a small but steady commercial gambling industry and was a signature away from adding adding sports betting to the menu.
Maine lawmakers approved online and in-person sports betting, but Gov. Janet Mills vetoed the bill in January 2020. Lawmakers’ attempt to override the veto passed in one chamber but came up short in the other.
Maine has a casino, a racino and a pair of harness tracks, and a sports betting bill could be re-introduced in 2021. Gambling.com continues to monitor and report on all of the state’s latest gambling developments.
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Online casino gambling is not legal in Maine. Social and sweepstakes casinos such as WinStar, LuckyLand and Chumba Casino are available and offer free online casino games such as slots, blackjack and roulette. No money changes hands at social and sweepstakes casino sites, but players can win prizes and jackpots with free virtual coins. Gambling.com’s top-rated social casinos are listed above.
Online casino gambling with offshore-based sites is not recommended. Most offshore betting sites are not regulated and operate with little or no oversight, placing your funds and personal information at risk. There is also no way to ensure the games you are playing there are fair.
Maine allows online gambling on Daily Fantasy Sports and pari-mutuel wagering.
Pursuing online casino gambling is not on the immediate agenda for Maine lawmakers, who made legal sports betting a higher priority. If online sports betting in Maine eventually becomes law and exceeds projections, state legislators might consider an online casino gambling bill, but that appears far off in the future.
Maine offers casino gaming at a land-based casino resort and a racino. Both offer electronic gaming devices and table games.
|Casino||City||Address||Hours of Operation|
|Oxford Casino||Oxford||777 Casino Way||24 hours|
|Hollywood Casino Bangor||Bangor||500 Main Street||9 a.m.-midnight|
Address: 777 Casino Way, Oxford
Hours of Operation: Open 24 hours
About: Located about 40 miles northwest of Portland. Opened in 2012 and purchased the following year by Churchill Downs, Inc. Casino has 27,000 square feet of gaming space with just under 1,000 slot and video poker machines and 28 table games. Most popular Maine casino accounts for more than 60% of total statewide gaming revenue.
Address: 500 Main Street, Bangor
Hours of Operation: 9 a.m.-midnight
About: Racino located about two hours northeast of Oxford Casino. Hollywood Casino Bangor has more than 800 slots and video poker machines, more than a dozen table games and the only live poker room in Maine. Facility includes harness track with live racing May-November. The state’s first licensed slots facility added table games in 2012. Operated by Penn National Gaming.
Note: Hours of operation and number of available games at both Maine casinos are subject to change due to COVID-19 and social distancing restrictions.
Four Maine Indian tribes are permitted to offer high-stakes bingo games, but no other forms of gambling. The Maine Indian Claims Settlement subjects the tribes’ lands to state law, meaning the more gambling-friendly federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act does not apply.
State law accounts for two facilities that allow commercial casino gambling and both are operated by experienced online operators. So if online casino gambling becomes legal in Maine, both Churchill Downs Inc. (Oxford Casino) and Penn National Gaming (Hollywood Casino Bangor) are well-positioned to take advantage.
Mobile casino apps are popular with bettors because they allow wagering on a smartphone or tablet 24 hours a day, 7 days a week from anywhere inside the state. The apps provide access to all the games available on your desktop or laptop computer, designed to fit your mobile device.
Mobile casino apps are free, easy to download and available for iOS and Android devices. If and when online casino gambling becomes legal in Maine, mobile apps will play a significant role.
Maine would likely offer all of the most popular real money online casino games, including:
Online Slots: Nearly all of the traditional slot games at your favorite land-based casino are available on your computer and mobile device, specifically designed to adjust to your screen size. New games with state-of-the-art graphics and animation are rolled out on a regular basis.
Online Poker: Several operators that offer online poker are experiencing a surge in revenue as the coronavirus shutters cardrooms. Online cash games, tournaments and Sit and Go events are available for a variety of buy-ins at top poker sites.
Roulette: Simple rules make roulette a popular game both online and at physical casinos. An electronic random generator determines the winning numbers in online roulette, replacing the physical wheel.
Online Blackjack: Players can find a large variety of this popular casino game online, including Spanish 21, Double Exposure and Blackjack Switch, with lower minimum bets available.
Lottery: Maine already allows players to buy subscriptions online. That means players can purchase tickets for 26, 52 or 104 drawings of Powerball and Mega Millions, and also manage their account online. Individual lottery tickets can only be purchased at retailers.
Live Dealer: Online operators try to recreate the live casino experience with actual people dealing the games (blackjack, roulette, baccarat) from a studio or live casino setting, with the action streamed to your computer or mobile device. Players can live chat with the dealer and other players at the table. Live dealer is available in some states with legal online gambling and not in others, so it is unclear if it would be offered to Maine players.
Online casino gambling operators want to make deposit and withdrawal options as simple and efficient as possible. The most popular payment methods:
PayPal: The most popular e-wallet option. Can be used for deposits and withdrawals, with quick processing and low fees.
Credit/debit cards: Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted, and generally can be used for deposits, but not withdrawals. Note that some financial institutions will not process online gambling-related transactions, though the number is gradually declining, and those that do may charge fees.
Play+: A casino-branded prepaid card. Players can usually apply for one on the casino operator’s website. You can load funds onto a Play+ card with a credit/debit card, transfer it to your casino account and start playing right away. Players can withdraw winnings back on to the card and access the money at an ATM.
ACH/bank transfer: Digital connection established between your bank account and online casino account.
Check or money order: Both are still generally accepted. If time’s not a factor, request a withdrawal via check and one will be mailed to you.
Online casino operators compete to sign up new players, making bonuses and promotions a part of doing business. Bonuses typically have playthrough requirements, so always read the terms and conditions. Among the most popular bonus offers:
No depost bonus: Receive a small bonus just for signing up for a new account.
Deposit match: Make your initial deposit and your online casino operator will match that amount up to 100%. Deposit match offers generally include playthrough requirements, meaning you must wager that bonus money a specified number of times before it can be redeemed, and not all games will count 100% toward satisfying the requirements.
Free slot spins: Offered to players to try new or different slot games.
Loyalty rewards: Earn points and credits that can be redeemed for cash or prizes. The higher your level of play, the more points compiled, with rewards earned when specific thresholds are met.
In a general sense, Maine is a liberal state with regards to gambling. Although this attitude hasn’t always resulted in laws being accepted quickly, the underlying ethos has helped legalize various forms of betting over the years.
To give you a snapshot, casino gaming, poker, horse racing and lotteries are all legal in the state. But for now, this hasn’t resulted in legal online gambling in Maine.
Gov. Janet Mills vetoes sports betting bill. State Senate overrides Mills’ veto, but House attempt fails, ending state’s sports betting effort until at least 2021.
State lawmakers approve bill to legalize online and in-person sports betting. Legislation would make Maine the 15th state to legalize sports wagering.
Oxford Casino opens. Hollywood Slots adds table games and is renamed Hollywood Casino.
Slot machines approved at racetracks. Hollywood Slots in Bangor opens the following year.
Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act settles land claims of state’s Indian tribes. A U.S. District Court judge rules 15 years later that the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, a federal law that establishes the framework for Indian gaming, does not apply to Maine tribes due to earlier settlement act.
Maine Lottery is approved in statewide referendum. Charitable bingo is approved the following year.
Pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing is legalized. Scarborough Downs is the first pari-mutuel track to open in 1950.
Maine was set to allow legal sports betting after lawmakers in both chambers voted to approve both online and in-person sports wagering in 2019. But Gov. Janet Mills vetoed the bill in January 2020. In a letter explaining her veto, the governor said she was ‘’unconvinced at this time that the majority of Maine people are ready to support’’ legalized sports betting.
The state Senate voted to override Mills’ veto, but the House fell nine votes short (a two-thirds majority was needed). Thus, Maine remains without sports betting. The question now is for how long.
It won’t happen in 2020, but the issue is likely to be raised again when the legislature convenes in 2021. The speed of a new bill depends on whether a complete overhaul of the legislation is required.
In her veto letter, Mills also mentioned increased oversight to protect underage gamblers, tougher penalties for potential fraud and a more thorough examination of how other states have implemented sports gambling. It’s possible lawmakers draft a 2021 sports betting bill that addresses those concerns.
Whenever it happens, it’s likely any sports betting bill in Maine will include an online component. State lawmakers adopted a free-market approach in their previous bill, which allowed for online wagering and did not require an online operator to partner with either of Maine’s existing two casinos.
State lawmakers passed a Daily Fantasy Sports law in 2017, which includes several consumer protections, sets a minimum age of 18 to participate, and prohibits fantasy sports wagering on college or amateur events.
Maine approved pari-mutuel wagering in 1935 and is home to two harness racing tracks: Scarborough Downs and Bangor Raceway. Both offer a live harness meet and year-round simulcasting. Bangor Raceway is Maine’s only racino, offering slots and table games. The state is also home to several harness racing pari-mutuel fair meets.
Maine has four off-track betting locations for wagering on thoroughbred and harness racing (betting on greyhound racing is not permitted). Maine customers can also wager on selected national online pari-mutuel platforms. Currently, BetAmerica and NYRA Bets accept Maine accounts, but TVG does not.
Oxford Casino is owned by Churchill Downs, Inc., which operates online sportsbooks in other states. Same for Penn National Gaming’s Hollywood Casino, which would launch its own sportsbook if online sports betting is legalized in Maine.
Other national online sportsbooks (DraftKings, FanDuel, MGM, etc.) will likely enter the picture if the next Maine sports betting bill does not require a partnership with an existing casino in the state. The previous bill did not require partnerships and set no cap on the number of available online licenses.
Based on the previous bill passed by state lawmakers, wagering on all the major pro, college and international sports would be allowed. Betting on events involving Maine collegiate sports teams would be prohibited.
Only on fantasy sports and some pari-mutuel wagering platforms. Online casino gambling and sports betting is prohibited, though social casino sites are completely legal.
The minimum gambling age in Maine casinos is 21. For pari-mutuel wagering and lottery, it’s 18.
Maine law allows only two casinos: Oxford Casino and Hollywood Casino (a racino) in Bangor. The Maine Supreme Court in 2018 refused to consider whether the state’s tribes can offer casino gaming without approval of the state legislature.
There would be no residency requirement to set up an account. But bettors would need to be physically located inside Maine to legally place a wager. Casino sites use geolocation technology to ensure that.
Some of these offers are from offshore-based casino gambling sites, which attempt to circumvent federal and state laws, and should be avoided. Other offers are from social or sweepstakes casinos, in which free online slots and table games can be played for prizes or amusement.
Casino gambling, Daily Fantasy Sports, pari-mutuel wagering, lottery and high-stakes bingo are allowed in Maine.
Oxford Casino and Hollywood Casino Bangor; Scarborough Downs; four off-track betting facilities; retail lottery locations across the state.
No. Sports betting is not legal in Maine.
The Maine Gambling Control Unit and Gambling Control Board.
Yes, as long as you are playing at a licensed and regulated online casino site. The state’s Gambling Control Board would be responsible for ensuring that all games are fair and electronic equipment is properly tested. You should avoid offshore sportsbooks and gambling sites as they are not regulated and there is no guarantee all games are fair or that your funds are safe.
All gambling winnings are subject to federal and state tax. Federal and state taxes of 25% and 5% respectively will automatically be withheld on winnings over $5,000.
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