Very much the nearly state of gambling legislature, Maine has flirted with legalizing sports betting for the past two years but proposed legislation has hit the buffers at the final stages.
The issue appears to be the extent to which casinos have control over online sportsbooks, the so-called tethering debate. Whereas some members of the legislature want the well-known online sportsbooks to partner with a casino, others want the ‘free market’ approach – effectively allowing sportbooks to hold licenses untethered from a casino.
With only two recognised casinos in the state, there are hopes the situation can be resolved this summer, but at present gambling centres around the Oxford Casino and the Bangor race track, with horse racing, the state lottery and Daily Fantasy Sports games the only other legal forms of gambling. The problem for lawmakers is that Maine borders only one US state, New Hampshire, which allows mobile sports betting, meaning tax revenue from gamblers is heading south across the border.
Betting in Maine
At present there is no legal sports betting available in Maine, but another attempt is expected this year to legalize both online and in-person versions.
No laws have been introduced to legalize online casinos with the state’s two land-based casinos offering slots and various table games.
Poker in Maine
Online poker is illegal but the racino – casino facilities operating at a race track – at Bangor has the state’s only legal poker room. There are video poker games at Bangor and the Oxford Casino.
Maine Horse Racing Betting
There are tracks at Bangor and Scarborough Downs with on-site betting and several off-track betting parlors in the state; as a racino, Bangor also offers slots and table games. There is also the option of using advance-deposit wagering operators like BetAmerica and TwinSpires.
Play Lottery in Maine
The state lottery was established in 1974, with ticket sales available in-person from retailers to anyone aged 18 or over. There are no online sales for individual tickets.
Legalized at state level in 2017, games operated by FanDuel, Yahoo Fantasy and DraftKings are open to Maine residents aged 18 and over. There is no fantasy sports wagering on college or amateur events.
Is sports betting on its way in Maine?
There is a road to legislation being introduced, despite an impasse over the ‘tethering’ of sportsbooks to state casinos. If a compromise can be agreed there is a chance that legislation will be passed in the state this year.
Where in Maine can I get help with problem gambling?
Gambling can be hugely enjoyable for many but for some it can prove to be disruptive and damaging in their personal lives. If you are struggling to cope, or if a friend or relative has gambling problems, help is available. Maine – National Council on Problem Gambling (ncpgambling.org)