Maine, also known as the Pine Tree State, is home to one of the youngest gambling industries in the nation. Although Maine authorized a state lottery in 1974, it wasn’t until 2010 that the state approved the construction of two commercial casinos. With legislative efforts to approve tribal casinos and real money daily fantasy sports games, it appears that there is an appetite for gambling expansion in the state. But where does Maine stand on the legalization of sports betting? BettingUS has everything you need to know.
Is it legal to bet on sports in Maine?
No, it is illegal to wager on the outcome of sporting events in the Pine Tree State. However, residents in Maine can place pari-mutuel wagers on horse racing events both at off-track betting parlors in the state and online at sites such as TwinSpires and TVG.
Although sports betting is illegal in the state, the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) provided an opportunity for Maine to explore the possibility of legalizing the activity. At the start of 2019, lawmakers in Maine introduced two bills that could legalize sports betting.
The first bill, LD 553, was introduced to ensure the “proper oversight of sports betting” in Maine. The second bill, LD 1348, would authorize sports betting in the state. Both bills have been referred to the Committee on Veterans and Legal Affairs for further consideration.
Where will I be able to place bets on sporting events in Maine?
If legislation is successful, residents will be able to place sports wagers at the state’s casinos, off-track betting parlors and at tribal gambling venues. The bills on file could also legalize online and mobile sports betting within state lines.
What sports will I be able to bet on?
Under the introduced legislation, residents may bet on all professional or amateur sports events “except high school sports events” and “other events in which a majority of the participants are minors and competitive video game events.” This means that esports betting won’t be permitted in Maine.
What else can I bet on in Maine?
Despite the state’s very recent expansion of gambling operations, there are several options available to residents and visitors. You can try your luck with the Maine Lottery which offers several games, such as Powerball and Gimme 5, as well as inter-state drawings. In the absence of legal sports betting, Maine permits daily fantasy sports games where players can win real cash prizes.
The state also allows tribal gambling operations. At the moment the only tribal gambling venue in the state is the Penobscot High Stakes Bingo hall, in Old Town. In terms of casino gambling, residents can play a variety of casino games at two commercial casinos in the state. These casinos offer a variety of games including:
- Video poker
- Black Jack
Here are the two casinos that operate in Maine:
|Casino Name||Location||Contact||Opening Hours|
|Oxford Casino Hotel||777 Casino Way, Oxford, ME 04270, USA||+1-207-539-6700||Info@OxfordCasino.com||24 hours|
|Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor||500 Main St, Bangor, ME 04401, USA||+1-877-779-7771||Online form||Monday – Sunday 8am – 3am|
Are offshore gambling sites legal in Maine?
Online gambling is illegal in Maine so is gambling at offshore sites that are not regulated or licensed to serve customers in the state is also illegal. Aside from being illegal, we recommend avoiding offshore gambling sites at all costs, as these sites aren’t regulated and do not have a license to operate in Maine. As a result, these sites are not bound by the same regulatory standards as other gambling operations in the state. This means that they may not have industry standard security and player protection measures in place.
There is also no guarantee that your funds will be safe with offshore betting sites. This is because you have no idea who is handling the funds you deposit. Licensed operators are required to hold player money in accounts separate from their own, or that of any other players. On top of this, offshore operators have a track record of employing predatory marketing practices.
You can spot offshore gambling sites by looking at the website’s domain name – domains ending in .EU or .AG aren’t licensed to operate in Maine.
Will it be safe to bet on sports in Maine?
Yes, the state’s existing regulator has placed a strong emphasis on player safety with its regulation of Maine’s gambling industry. As well as having a proven state regulator, the proposed sports betting legislation in Maine would charge the state gambling control board with regulatory oversight of the activity, ensuring players are safe and all gambling activity is fair.
While safety is paramount, so is gambling responsibly. To avoid the harms that problem gambling can cause, you should never gamble more than you can afford to or chase your losses. If you feel that your gambling habits are having a negative impact on your life and those around you, contact the National Council on Problem Gambling for a variety of resources that can help you identify if you are at risk of developing a gambling addiction. You can also contact the Maine Council on Problem Gambling for help and addiction services in the state.
You can contact the National Problem Gambling Helpline via:
You can contact the Maine Council on Problem Gambling via:
Who regulates gambling in Maine?
Charitable games such as bingo and games of chance found in Maine are overseen and regulated by the state Gambling Control Unit. Off-track betting and pari-mutuel wagering on harness horse racing fall under the jurisdiction of the state Harness Racing Commission.
How old do I have to be to gamble in Maine?
The legal age for bingo is 16 years-old while the legal age for the lottery and betting on horse racing is 18. If you wish to visit one of the state’s casinos you will have to be 21 years old.
The journey to legal and regulated sports betting in Maine
1820 – The state government outlawed all forms of gambling in Maine.
1950 – The largest race track in Maine, Scarborough Downs, opened for business.
1974 – The state legislature approved and established the Maine Lottery.
1988 – Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulation Act (IGRA), establishing rules and regulations for tribal gaming operations. With the passage of the federal laws, tribal groups in Maine opened high stakes bingo facilities on their land.
1992 – Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) prohibiting sports betting across US states. Four states were made exempt from the law: Nevada, Delaware, Oregon and Montana. These states had legal sports betting regulations in place.
2004 – The Maine Lottery partnered with lotteries in other states to offer inter-state games.
2010 – In a state-wide referendum, voters approved the building of two commercial casinos in the state.
2012 – Construction on the Oxford Casino Hotel was completed, and the venue opened shortly after. This was the first ever casino to open in the state.
2014 – Lawmakers introduced legislation that would authorize two tribal casinos in the state. The legislation received a significant amount of opposition from existing casinos interests and was ultimately unsuccessful.
2018 – On 14 May, the Supreme Court reached a decision on the legality of PASPA. In a seven to two vote, it was agreed that one of the clauses in PASPA violated the Tenth Amendment, as its commandeered power from states to regulate their own gambling industries. This paved the way for all US states to decide whether or not to legalize sports betting. In the weeks after the repeal of PASPA, a number of US sportsbooks launched across the country.
2019 – Lawmakers in Maine introduced two pieces of legislation that would legalize sports betting in Maine, LD 1348 and LD 553.
Although Maine has yet to legalize and regulate sports betting, lawmakers are considering legislation that would legalize the activity. Want the latest updates on the state of legal sports betting in Maine? BettingUS has got you covered.