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Maine Online Gambling

Maine gambling laws are middle-of-the-road when it comes to most forms of gambling. In the past few decades, Maine’s politics have been split between Democrats and Republicans. The state has an Independent Senator, a Democrat legislature, and (until 2018) a Republican governor. In the past, new gambling laws had to be passed on a bipartisan basis, so it allowed for a moderate, sensible amount of legalized gambling.

Maine has a handful of bingo halls and racetracks, which support a horse racing industry and off-track betting. Maine gamblers have one land-based casino, but rejected a proposal to legalize a second brick-and-mortar casino in 2016. The state does not allow online gambling of any kind.

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Quick Menu: Maine Gambling Laws > Is Online Gambling Legal? > Online Poker > Sports Betting > Land-Based Casinos in Maine > Betting Tracks > Bingo Halls > Social Gaming

Laws That Pertain to Maine Gambling

Maine relevant state code: 17-A §951 et seq.; 8§301; 8§285 et seq.; 8§261A, et seq.

Maine has a broad definition of gambling, so most forms of gaming fall under the definition. This has longstanding and perpetual implications for any innovation forms of gambling which exist now, or might exist in the future.

Section 952(4)

Staking or risking something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.

Instead of making a specific list of the forms of gambling like other states, the Maine Constitution’s Section 952(11) says that anything “not expressly authorized by statute” is defined as “unlawful gambling”. The absence of a reference makes a form of gambling illegal, which meant online and mobile gambling immediately became illegal upon its creation.

Gamblers should pay attention to the phrase “contest of chance”, because any game defined as a “contest of chance” is considered gambling in Maine. “Social gambling” is specifically defined, because it involves charitable gambling and some tribal gaming.

Section 952(4)

“Social gambling” is gambling, or a contest of chance, in which the only participants are players and from which no person or organization receives or becomes entitled to receive something of value or any profit whatsoever, directly or indirectly, other than as a player, from any source, fee, remuneration connected with said gambling, or such activity as arrangements or facilitation of the game, or permitting the use of premises, or selling or supplying for profit refreshments, food, drink service or entertainment to participants, players or spectators.

Section 952(4) provides for charitable gambling, though only a handful of bingo parlors exist in the state. The Penobscot Tribe organizes “high stakes bingo”, but tribal gaming laws are complicated in Maine.

Casino gambling, lotteries, and betting on horse races are legal in Maine. All three are restricted to a few venues. Legalizing new casinos requires a state referendum. Recent plebiscites have gone against casino proponents, but those proposals were dogged by bad publicity and questionable ethics.

Maine has four recognized Native American tribes: the Penobscot Nation, the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Houlton Band of Maliseets, and the Aroostook Band of Micmacs. Many New England tribes did not have their lands recognized by the US Department of the Interior prior to 1934, which is a huge disadvantage. In 2014, LD 1520 sought to give tribes the right to open gaming venues, but the bill failed to pass.

Type of Gambling – Offered/Licensed? – Notes & Restrictions
  • Online Gambling – No – Online poker sites and casinos are not allowed.
  • Land-Based Casinos – Yes – Oxford Casino in Oxford, Maine.
  • Charitable Gaming – Yes – Bingo for nonprofits. High stakes bingo by the Penobscot Tribe.
  • Lottery Betting – Yes – Maine State Lottery, Powerball (2004), Mega Millions (2011).
  • Minimum Gambling Age – 18 for lotteries and pari-mutuels, 21 for casinos, 16 for charity bingo.

Is Online Poker Legal in Maine?

Maine Online Poker Laws

No, Online poker is not legal in Maine at present. State Sen. Debra Plowman (R-Hampden), State Rep. Douglas Damon (R-Bangor), and State Rep. Linda Valentino (D-Saco) attended a gaming conference in Las Vegas in 2012 to learn about online casinos and poker sites. Later that year, they introduced a bill to the Maine legislature, but the bill never made it out of committee. Online poker remains an unlawful form of gambling in Maine.

The resulting bill approved online lottery ticket sales, but online poker failed to pass. Maine online poker players continue to join unlicensed offshore poker sites. These players have never been prosecuted for such gaming, but that does not mean it won’t be blocked or prosecuted in the future. With Democrats taking control of the state’s agenda in the near future, online gambling enforcement is not likely to become stricter.

Is Sports Betting / Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in Maine?

Maine does not allow sports betting. Since the PASPA law was struck down in May 2018, Maine’s legislature has had a little over 6 months to pass such a law. Maine might legalize a sportsbook at its lone casino or its 11 racetracks, but since the land-based gaming industry is small, that lobbying resources to pass such a law might be limited. Maine is not on the list of states on the verge of passing sports betting laws.

In April 2017, the legislature passed L 1329, which legalized daily fantasy sports. FanDuel, DraftKings, and other DFS sites are legal in the state, so long as they pay a fee and follow the regulations.

Does Maine have land-based casinos?

Maine has one traditional land-based casino: Oxford Casino in the city of Oxford. Oxford Casino is owned by Churchill Downs Inc. these days, though an in-state development group championed the Oxford Casino until it was opened in 2013.

Maine also has a racetrack-casino, usually known as a racino: Hollywood Casino & Hotel in Bangor. Hollywood Casino is owned by Penn National Gaming, a Pennsylvania-based company which has a string of Hollywood Casinos throughout the United States. Hollywood Casino was founded by a local developer named Shawn Scott in 2003. When questions arose about Mr. Scott’s ethics, he sold the casino to Penn National.

In 2017, Shawn Scott backed the York County casino project, which was designed to bring a third casino to Maine. Due to a series of public relations blunders and an ethics probe which ended in a $4 million fine, a statewide referendum voted down the York County casino project.

CASINOS

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Oxford Oxford Casino 777 Casino Way, Oxford, Main 04270-3163 (207) 539-6700 871 Gaming Machines, 28 Poker and Gaming Tables

RACINOS

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Bangor Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway 500 Main Street, Bangor, Maine 04401-6845 (207) 974-3500 778 Gaming Machines, 4 Poker Tables, 14 Gaming Tables, Race Book

Does Maine have any legal betting tracks / shops?

Yes, Maine has 11 horse tracks and a smattering off-track betting facilities. The Maine State Harness Racing Commission regulates horse racing and harness racing. Since 1993, dog racing has been banned in Maine.

Does Maine allow off-track betting?

Yes, Maine has 3 off-track betting facilities. Many states have more off-track betting facilities than full racetracks, but Maine is the opposite. With 11 racing facilities, it makes little sense to authorize off-track betting venues. The locations which do exist have simulcasting.

HORSE TRACK RACING

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Cumberland Center Cumberland Fairgrounds 197 Blanchard Road, Cumberland Center, Maine 04021 (207) 829-5531 N/A
Farmington Farmington Fairgrounds 292 High Street, Farmington, Maine 04938 (207) 778-6083 N/A
Fryeburg Fryeburg Fairgrounds 1154 Main Street. Fryeburg, Maine 04037-1518 (207) 935-3268 N/A
Oxford Oxford Fairgrounds 68 Pottle Road, Oxford, Maine 04270-3357 (207) 739-2204 N/A
Preque Isle Northern Maine Fairgrounds 84 Mechanic Street, Presque Isle, Maine 04769-2306 (207) 764-1884 N/A
Scarborough Scarborough Downs 90 Payne Road, US Route 1, Scarborough, Maine 04074-9619 (207) 883-4331 N/A
Skowhegan Skowhegan State Fairgrounds 33 Constitution Avenue, Skowhega, Maine 04976 (207) 474-3947 N/A
Topsham Topsham Fairgrounds 54 Elm Street, Topsham, Maine 04086 (207) 729-1943 N/A
Oxford Oxford Fairgrounds 68 Pottle Road, Oxford, Maine 04270-3357 (207) 739-2204 N/A
Union Union Fairgrounds Fairgrounds Lane, Union, Maine 04862 (207) 785-3281 N/A
Windsor Windsor Fairgrounds 82 Ridge Road, Windsor, Maine 04363 (207) 549-7911 N/A

OFF-TRACK BETTING

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Brunswick Winners OTB 20 Farley Road, Brunswick, Maine 04011-2642 (207) 725-8801 Race Book
Lewiston Winner’s Circle OTB 4 Mollison Way, Lewiston, Maine 04240-5806 (207) 784-6457 Race Book
Waterville Favorites OTB 6 Jefferson Street, Waterville, Maine 04901-4515 (207) 861-4343 Race Book

BINGO HALLS

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Lewiston Cavalier Club Bingo Hall 855 Lisbon Street, Lewiston, Maine 04240-6100 (207) 784-0244 N/A
Lewiston Pleasant Street Bingo 475 Pleasant Street, Suite 11, Lewiston, Maine 04240-3951 (207) 777-1394 275 Bingo Seats
South Portland South Portland Bingo 200 John Roberts Road, South Portland, Maine 04106-3366 (207) 761-2717 300 Bingo Seats

Is Social gaming allowed in Maine?

Yes, the social gambling laws are detailed in Section 952(4) of Maine’s gambling laws. A few bingo halls exist, while the Penobscot Tribe offers high stakes bingo.

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