Maine isn’t really a gambling hotspot or a sports team hotspot. They aren’t really the first state you’d think of to legalize sports betting off the bat. Since the PASPA ruling was overturned by the Supreme Court in May 2018, several states have jumped in with both feet and legalized betting and are already seeing millions of dollars of revenue pour in.
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Maine is not one of those states. Many lawmakers, casinos, and even the Governor of the state are heavily against sports betting. In February 2020, there was a vote by House representatives that would override the veto by Governor Janet Mills, that took sports betting off the table, and there weren’t enough votes to do so.
Maine has two casinos, none of which are tribal casinos, and are commercially owned out-of-state. Maine is the only state to have this, as many states would prefer to regulate and bring in that revenue for their own gain. These casinos lobbied heavily against the potential of sports betting in the state due to there being online sports betting incorporated into the bill.
What’s next for sports betting in Maine? Well, now that we're in 2021, sports betting is back before the Maine Legislature, but things are still complicated. There is still a great deal of opposition to the bill, but as the year progresses we will know more regarding what may happen.
Poker is also illegal in Maine – yet you can still walk into a card room in the casinos and play poker. Some of the laws are confusing and don’t make much sense – they obviously need a revamp.
Due to dated laws around gambling, online gambling isn’t mentioned in them, so technically you aren’t breaking any laws when betting online. You can sign up to play online poker, bet on sports online, you name it – and nothing really can be done about it.
They passed a law in 2017 to legalize and allow Daily Fantasy Sports, which includes fantasy football and basketball. Residents can sign up for DFS contests on DraftKings or FanDuel and also play in leagues. This was a promising start for Maine, and had many believing sports betting was on the way after the 2018 PASPA ruling.
Can I bet on sports in Maine?
Currently, no. Sports betting in the state of Maine is considered illegal - there are no licensed sports betting venues where you can place a wager legally, and it doesn’t look like that will change any time soon.
You can bet on sports in Maine at an online sportsbook. There are no real options other than that just yet, so betting online will have to do for now. You can sign up at an online sportsbook, and create your account, make a deposit and you can bet within minutes. It’s very simple and convenient – especially if you want to place a bet from a sports bar or on the go.
Top Online Sportsbooks for Betting in Maine
Finding a reliable, trustworthy online sportsbook is important when it comes to managing your hard-earned money. Before you sign up, you need to do your research and ensure that the sportsbook is legitimate and secure. We have used many sportsbooks in our day, and we compiled a list of the top sportsbooks (in our opinion) and reviewed important criteria that bettors should look for when line shopping.
First, check out the deposit options. Many sportsbooks have limited options and if your preferred payment method isn’t there, you will either have to go elsewhere or find a new payment option. Sign up bonuses are a great thing to keep in mind as many sportsbooks give you free money to bet with, if you deposit $50, they might do a 100% match bonus – giving you $100 to bet with, with a few rules of course. You usually have to rollover your bets several times, before you can cash out.
Ensuring you look at all of these factors can help you choose a great online sportsbook for betting, especially in Maine. Reading sportsbook reviews and making sure your preferred sportsbook is available to U.S. citizens is important, as there are many blocks to offshore sportsbooks in the United States.
There are only a few casinos in Maine that are commercially owned by out of state companies. It’s uncertain whether the next sports betting bill will name these casinos as potential homes for sportsbooks, or if they’ll hand over the rights to the state lottery, as their last bills have stated most of the sports betting will be conducted online.
The Oxford Casino is owned and operated by Churchhill Downs Inc. and located in Oxford, Maine. While it’s the newest casino in the state, The Oxford Casino boasts 30 table games and 1000 slot machines, a 107-room hotel and plenty of restaurants and bars.
The Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway in Bangor is owned and operated by Penn National Gaming Inc. They offer a large facility with four Poker tables, 16 table games, and almost 950 slot machines.