Legal Online Gambling In Maine - The Full Picture
Maine Quick Info
Population: 1.33 Million
State Motto: Dirigo
Land Casinos: 2
Land Poker Rooms: 2
Legal Gambling Age: 21
Gambling laws in Maine are pretty cut and dry, however they have also been evolving over the last few years as well. Currently you will find options to enjoy the following types of gambling entertainment: pari-mutuel wagering on horse races, lottery, bingo and casino gambling. That range of options began with the establishment of the state’s first racetrack in 1950 and expanded as recently as 2013 when the state’s second brick and mortar commercial casino opened its doors. There are now two state licensed casino properties in Maine, two high stakes bingo casinos located on tribal properties and two licensed racetracks that also offer slot machines. Lottery retail outlets are available throughout the state for purchasing tickets for the state lottery games and various interstate games.
The topic of state based online gambling has not had any interest as of yet, leaving Maine players in the dark as to what online gambling options are legally available to them. This page of our guide will dive into all areas of gambling legalities relevant to the Pine Tree State, and provide a clear picture of what types of options are legally sanctioned for residents and visitors of this state. We firmly believe that making informed decisions regarding involvement in gambling entertainment is the only way to responsibly participate. We will discuss the legal status of gambling in Maine for both online and offline betting, provide insight into the most popular platforms within Maine’s gambling industry, and list trusted resources for acquiring additional information and assistance in navigating and understanding applicable rules and regulations contained within the state’s laws and statutes.
The gambling laws in Maine are very specific when it comes to gambling. As mentioned above, you will find pari-mutuel wagering, casino gambling, bingo and lottery. Casino gambling includes gaming machines, table games and poker. The laws and statutes for the state of Maine permit all of these types of gambling entertainment.
Likewise, the gambling laws in Maine are also specific about what is not permitted to take place. Any type of betting that takes place within Maine’s borders that is not licensed by the state constitutes a form of illegal gambling. Also considered to be illegal gambling activities are bookmaking, illegal lotteries, betting on dog racing, maintaining records of gambling and personally owning a gambling device. All of these actions are punishable under law.
Online gambling is not specifically addressed in the state’s gambling laws and statutes. This means that it is not legal at this time to operate an online gambling site of any type within the state’s borders, and doing so would constitute the operation of illegal gambling activity, punishable by law. This includes online casino, poker and sportsbook gambling. It is also true that the state’s laws do not prohibit residents from participating in legally licensed and regulated online gambling entertainment that is based outside of the United States. This is often referred to as offshore online gambling, and does not violate any state or US federal laws. There are a number of legally sanctioned, high quality and secure gambling sites that welcome players from Maine. You will find that we’ve included a refined listing of the industry’s leading online gambling destinations, all of which have been carefully vetted by our team of analysts before being considered for inclusion in this guide. Our recommendations include legally licensed online casinos, poker sites and sportsbooks.
Penalties of Violating Maine’s State Gambling Laws
The criminal code focuses on the operators and providers of illegal gambling activity rather than the players. Criminal cases concerning gambling in Maine have historically targeted the providers of illegal gambling and not players. Legally the state does have the option of also prosecuting players since they are technically violating state law by participating in unlicensed gambling activity, but we have not seen the state go in this direction thus far.
Forms Of Gambling That Are Currently Legal In Maine
Pari-mutuel Wagering – Betting on horse races has been a part of the Maine gambling industry since 1950 when Scarborough Downs opened as the state’s first racetrack. In 2013, a second racetrack has opened, Hollywood Bangor Casino and Raceway. Both racetracks offer slot machines in addition to pari-mutuel racing.
Casino Gambling – There are two state licensed brick and mortar casinos located in Maine, the Oxford Country Casino and the Hollywood Bangor Casino. These casinos offer a variety of games, including gaming machines such as slots and video poker, live poker and other table games and specialty games. In 2014 LD 1446 was introduced and would allow two additional casinos to be built on tribal properties. The bill passed in the House in June of 2015, however was killed in the Senate one day later. The two existing Maine casinos are located in central and southern regions of the state. A report that was commissioned by the state Legislature in 2014 specifically stated that the existing gambling market and state economy could sustain an additional northern casino property. The blocking of tribal casino properties in Maine has caused a distinct rift between the tribes and the state government. A new effort to legally sanction the building of brick and mortar casinos on tribal properties has not yet surfaced.
Poker – Live poker is available at the state’s two brick and mortar casinos. Social poker games are legal as well as long as nobody makes a profit from taking in a fee or rake from the games.
Lottery – The state of Maine offers both state lottery games and interstate games as well.
Bingo – Bingo is legally permitted in Maine, and is available through two high stakes bingo casinos located on tribal properties. Bingo is also permitted as regulated charity gambling.
Reasons Why Maine Has Not Yet Moved Towards State Regulated Online Gambling
As of yet, there has not been any interest in legalizing online gambling in Maine. While poker seems to be the first Internet based platform that most gambling friendly states gravitate towards, Maine’s small population makes the support of an online poker infrastructure quite challenging. As more states launch state licensed online gambling options, it is possible that Maine could cooperatively participate in an interstate online poker or casino gambling initiative that would allow the sharing of customer bases across state lines. This is likely to be a challenge that any state with a small population faces. Until such an opportunity presents itself, Maine residents can rely on legally licensed and regulated online gambling sites that are located outside of the United States. You will find access to the best Maine friendly destinations for legally gambling online listed in this guide.
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The legal gambling age in Maine will depend on what type of betting you are engaged in. Both lottery ticket purchases and pari-mutuel wagering carry a minimum age requirement of 18 years of age. Players must be at least 21 years old to participate in casino gambling, and 16 years old to play bingo or participate in charitable gambling. These minimum age requirements also apply to offshore online gambling involvement, and cannot be circumvented despite age requirement policies that apply at individual gambling sites. For example, if an online casino accepts players at age 18, Maine residents must still wait until they are 21 years old to play. To participate prior to their 21st birthday, Maine residents would be violating state gambling laws.
State regulated online casinos have not yet been made legal in the state of Maine. However, none of the state’s gambling laws prohibit residents from enjoying online casino games at gambling sites that are legitimately licensed and regulated outside of the United States. Our guide includes recommended destinations that offer legally sanctioned online casino gambling through a high quality, secure environment that has been evaluated and approved by our team of professional gambling analysts. Those listed all welcome players from Maine. Our legal US online casinos section provides more of a general overview for casino gambling in America.
While we do expect that state regulated online poker will surface eventually in the Pine Tree State, it has not yet done so. That being the case, residents can access a handful of online poker sites that are legally licensed and regulated offshore within respected jurisdictions that have legalized online poker for their respective territories. Online poker sites that operate from these types of regions are legally licensed to offer their services to players around the world, including those living in or visiting Maine. Our legal US online poker guide gives a much more detailed overview on the current status of playing online poker legally in the US.
State regulated online sports betting will not begin to emerge until US federal law is amended or repealed. It would require legislation to rescind or modify specific provisions within the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) and the Federal Wire Act in order for individual states to have the authority to legalize this type of betting entertainment. In the mean time, sports fans in Maine have legal access to several licensed and regulated offshore sports betting sites. The sportsbooks you see listed in this guide have been vetted by our team of professional analysts. Alternatively you can read our section that answers the question "is online sports betting legal in the US?" It offers quite a lot of useful information for sports betting enthusiasts which will help you gain a much better understanding of what is currently going on in America with sports gambling.
Neither of the two racetracks in Maine offers online wagering at this time. However, Maine residents are able to legally bet on horse races from the legal Maine friendly online sportsbooks listed in this guide. They each offer high quality racebooks that include a multitude of horse races and events.
There are no state sponsored options for purchasing lottery tickets online in Maine. To purchase tickets for the state lottery games, players must visit a retail location. There are legally licensed online lottery agents that provide online ticket purchases for a wide range of US and international lottery games. The recommended online lottery agents you find in this guide accept customers from Maine.
We have not yet seen Maine’s law enforcement target players concerning gambling, even when they are in direct violation of the law. In addition, it is not against state or federal law for citizens or visitors in the state of Maine to participate in legal, licensed and regulated online gambling entertainment. In order to be considered legal, the gambling site destination at which they are playing must be legally licensed and regulated outside of the United States and operating legally within the industry
Maine’s tax laws do not offer exemptions for reporting gambling winnings as revenue, regardless of where you are betting. This means that online gambling winnings must be reported according to the law just as winnings at a brick and mortar casino must be. While the state and federal tax collection agencies may not have easy access to records concerning online gambling winnings, efforts to evade tax payments are illegal and punishable by law. We certainly do not recommend that you attempt to hide information from the state government or the IRS.
Short of powerful US based interstate online gambling opportunities, we don’t’ think its extremely likely to happen in the very near future. Maine simply doesn’t have a large enough population to support a state regulated online gambling infrastructure on its own. This is presumption on our part, and we could be surprised and see Maine take an interest in intrastate online gambling. It certainly is not outside the realm of possibilities.
There are two governing agencies responsible for the regulation of gambling in the state of Maine. The Maine State Harness Racing Commission (http://www.maine.gov/dacf/harnessracing/) is responsible for overseeing live horse racing as well as off track wagering facilities. They are also responsible for implementing policies and rules and for ensuring the integrity of the racing industry for all involved. The Gambling Control Board (http://www.state.me.us/dps/GambBoard/index.html) consists of five Governor appointment members who are responsible for the regulation of the gambling industry in Maine with the exception of pari-mutuel racing.
Maine Gambling Resources
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