Maine Gambling Information

FAQ / Q&A -- History -- Regulation -- Land Based Casinos


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Maine casino regulation

Online gambling is not legal in the state of Maine. At the same time, no legislation pertaining to this matter exists. This means that it’s also not illegal at the same time.

Experts and lawyers like to call this phenomenon ‘grey area iGaming.’ It’s a legal situation where online gambling isn’t regulated, but you also can’t get punished for it. In order to be arrested and go to trial, there has to be a law that proposes a certain form of punishment for what you did. With online casinos, this is not the case.

Is there any hope that Maine will get a properly regulated iGaming industry? Honestly, there is. However, you have to consider that Maine hasn’t had the opportunity to experience gambling as a whole for a long while.

Until 2012, Maine’s legislators were reluctant to legalize any form of gambling, due to extensive lobbying from anti-gambling organizations. That year, it’s almost as if the State Congress realized that they’re losing valuable tax revenue to people going to Canadian casinos. The first casino in Maine was soon established, followed by a second one.

Both online casinos and sports betting were on the minds of more liberal legislators, but casino owners and the Gov. lobbied hard to stop these two activities from being legalized. Their motives for such a stance most likely stem from their fear that iGaming would cannibalize brick and mortar revenue.

Nevertheless, you can still play games at casino sites if you’re in Maine. Many US-based and offshore casinos are more than happy to welcome players from the Pine Tree State. If you run into an online casino that doesn’t, you can use a VPN to make it seem like you’re browsing from somewhere else.

And don’t worry - you can’t get in trouble for gambling online in Maine. No one has ever been arrested for this. With the increasingly gambling-friendly climate in the state, it’s possible that things will get even better.



Gambling history in Maine

Maine is a remote and picturesque state which remained relatively quiet when it comes to gambling, regulation and any activities related to it. Gambling has never had a major impact on Main’ society, but it has its place in the recorded history of The Pine Tree State.

The oldest gambling activity in Maine is horse race gambling, which was introduced in 1935. All through the 1950s, harness racing was everyone’s sport of choice. Lavish tracks with restaurants became common in the Maine gambling scene. The list of (still) limited choices expanded when the Pine Tree State established the state lottery in 1974. The Maine State Lottery offers scratch-off cards and drawing games (daily Pick 3 and Pick 4 drawings, Gimme 5, Lucky for Life and Hot Lotto Sizzler), as well as Powerball and Mega Millions.

The Penobscot Bingo Hall opened in 1973 in Old Town. It’s run by one of the Maine Native American tribes and provides exclusively bingo games. In recent years, the tribe has been lobbying for the rights to run a full casino, as supported by the 1988 Indian Regulatory Gambling Act. Some of Maine’s racetrack facilities have been boosted into racinos with the addition of slot games and gaming tables. In 2004, Maine's Gambling Control Board allowed for the first commercial casino to open in the state and the other one followed in 2010. In the period following the establishment of these facilities, the Maine gambling industry gained momentum.

Casino games generate a lot of revenue for the state, and perhaps that will lead to further loosening of the current gaming restrictions. Maine is seen as a suitable candidate for allowing online poker sometime in the future, and joining the movement towards intrastate games which might include Delaware and New Jersey.

Land based casinos

The State of Maine is home to two major commercial casinos and one Native American-owned gaming facility. The casinos are the Hollywood Casino and Raceway in Bangor and the Oxford Casino in Oxford. Hollywood Casino and Raceway is also known as Hollywood Slots. It offers a Vegas-style gambling experience thanks to nearly 1,000 slot machines and video poker games. It has tables where you can play live poker, roulette and blackjack, and you can also enjoy live harness racing. Hollywood Casino Bangor has a 150-room hotel, a snack bar and buffet, and live music in the entertainment hall.

People from the southern part of the state have easier access to Oxford Casino which is located in the Lakes and Mountains area, close to Portland. Oxford Casino boasts over 950 slot machines and 28 table games. Its hotel opened in 2017, new dining venues were added and the gaming floor was expanded. The casino is run by Churchill Downs Inc.

The Penobscot Bingo Hall is owned and operated by the Penobscot/Panawahpskek tribe of Maine. It offers high stakes bingo. Scarborough Downs is also very popular with the gamblers in Maine, but the facility only offers racing. One of its major attractions is beautiful beach scenery, as well as its closeness to Portland.

Maine casinos do not allow smoking, while its racetrack betting facilities do.

Neighbouring States: New Hampshire



What’s the minimum age at which you can gamble online in Maine?

21. Since we’re talking about casino games, we’re going to use the closest things as reference. In Maine’s case, these are land-based casinos. They allow only adults to enter, so that will be our recommendation in this case. It’s also the usual age limit we see in states where online casinos are legal and regulated.

Just because you’re operating outside the boundaries of the law, that doesn’t mean you can gamble at any age. Law enforcement in Maine is still strongly against underage gambling, so they are more than happy to sanction any illegal activities. Be safe and responsible.

Which games can bet played at Maine online casinos?

As you have access to a large majority of offshore and other US-based casinos, you can find any game you want. You’re not limited by only a few sites and providers. All you have to do to find what you’re looking for is create a shortlist of available sites, and simply use the search function on each site.

Big providers such as NetEnt and Evolution games are omnipresent, but Maine online casinos also offer a nice choice of indie titles. The overabundance of choices may be confusing, but you’ll never get bored.

Can I also play live dealer games at sites in Maine?

Of course. Maine casino sites are aware that people love games that mimic the atmosphere of a brick and mortar casino. Therefore, live casino sections are growing in size. You can find live variants of classic games, along with a few experimental titles here and there.

What payment options can I use for deposits at casino sites in Maine?

If you’re gambling online in Maine, you have access to options that are available throughout the US and the world. The most common ones are, of course, credit/debit cards, wire transfers, and eWallets.

VISA, MasterCard, and AmEx reign supreme, but have recently been criticized for their lack of security and inefficient transfers. Wire transfers are faster, but involve much more hassle and aren’t much safer.

eWallets are great because online casinos can’t have a look into your credit card information. PayPal is king, but Skrill and Neteller have also emerged as viable options. If you prioritize anonymity and security, cryptos are nice, too.

How fast can I expect my withdrawal from Maine online casinos?

First of all, this depends on whether the casino itself has an identity verification process. In some cases, you have to scan a document before requesting a withdrawal. This can add a day or more to your waiting times.

The other factor are, of course, the payment options themselves. Because of their builds and protocols, how long you have to wait varies from one platform to another. Here’s what to expect:

● Credit/debit card (5-7 days)

● Wire transfer (2-7 days)

● Cryptocurrencies (15-60 minutes)

● eWallets (instant + additional time if you’re withdrawing the money to your bank account)

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