- 35,385 sq mi
Find out all you need to know about casinos in Maine
The State of Maine is known for its scenic beauty. It has charismatic towns, tall and beautiful light houses along with breathtaking beaches. Gambling is one of the other entertainments available for tourists who visit the state as well as residents.
The state has its fair share of casinos and race tracks for those who want to try their hand at gambling. One of the most popular choices is harness racing, which is available throughout the state.
The two Maine casinos are the Penobscot High Stakes Bingo Casino in Old Town and the Hollywood Slots in Bangor. As well as this, there are an additional two race track facilities, the Bangor Raceway and the Scarborough Downs.
History of gambling in Maine
There isn’t a vast array of land based casinos in Maine as a direct result of the various regulations enforced by the state. Interestingly enough, if it were implemented on a national scale, Maine is one of the states that would then encourage regulated gambling. Until that time though, people resort to the limited options available, as well as tapping into the world of online gambling.
In 2010, the citizens of Maine voted for the legalization of gambling in the state. The first sign of progress was seen in Oxford County, where a casino was built, followed by lottery and raffle style gambling which soon became very popular. A state lottery was allowed prior to this as early as 1973. The opening of the Oxford County casino in 2012 made the headlines and is still one of the biggest happenings in the gambling world.
A casino getaway to Maine
If you are over 21, then Maine offers you quite some extravagant gambling options as well as other activities to do in a day. One can tour Maine by visiting destinations like the Moose Point state park, the Farnsworth Art Museum and York’s Wild Kingdom. And after a day of exploring the state, it’s time for a fun-filled evening at the casinos. The Scarborough Downs located in Scarborough is the area’s top gaming destination. It has splendid gambling tables as well as raceways. Additionally, and as previously mentioned before, the other casino that is relatively new is the Oxford Casino situated in Oxford. The casino has table games such as Roulette, Blackjack and Texas Hold‘em to name a few. There are also many options for slots play too.
Maine Gambling Laws
Gambling in Maine is not a new concept. In fact, it is one of the few states that had a state lottery as early as 1973, although the Maine Gambling Control Board approved the very first full-fledged casino only in 2012. For this reason, the demand for online gambling has always been very high in this state as people looked for other ways to play for real money aside from the lottery. There are also a few things that make the gambling laws in Maine different than the others. For example, they actually define what a “contest of chance” is, in addition to the standard definition of what gambling is across states. The mere shuffling of a deck of cards, spinning dice, and even video card shuffles are also included in their gaming laws.
There are two land-based casinos in the state. These are the Hollywood Casino Bangor (established in 2013) and the Oxford Casino (established in 2012), offering table games, slots and poker. The last one attracts many New Hampshire residents in addition to Maine locals. The legal gambling age in casinos is 21. As for the tribal casinos in Maine, there were three bills designed to allow the tribal casinos in 2014. All three were approved by the House but rejected by the Senate, facing the opposition from the business interests behind the existing casinos.
One of the other ways the folks in Maine can play casino games is the Nova Star Cruise. The cruise starts in Portland and crosses international waters to Nova Scotia. There are around 70 slot gaming machines and live tables on this 10-hour cruise. Access to the cruise and, by default, its casino, requires a reservation with the company. Age laws are respected in this cruise so underage gambling is not allowed.
It is legal to bet on horse races in Maine, as long as the pari-mutuel approach is used. One venue that would qualify as a racino is the Hollywood Casino, where players can bet on live races as well as simulcast races from all over the country. To those who prefer watching and betting both live and simulcast races on a traditional race track, Scarborough Downs is the only other option. The minimum age to be able to place wagers on races is 18. Dog racing is prohibited in this state.
Maine’s state lottery is still thriving, considering that it was one of the very first gambling options that the residents of Maine had. Aside from the usual state-run games like Pick 3 and Pick 4, interstate games like Powerball and Mega Millions are also played. The legal gambling age for the lottery is 18.
Live poker games are legal in the State, however, the number of poker tables are limited because of the the limited casinos’ venues. Home poker games are allowed while nobody is making a profit from it. Online poker is illegal but Maine is considered to be one of the more likely candidates to join the poker-sharing deal online poker, including New Jersey and Delaware.
Charitable gambling in this state is regulated by the Maine State Police Licensing Division. Games allowed are Bingo and bean – the game, where all participants are given or sold the tally cards with preprinted letters or numbers. The minimum age to participate in Bingo is 16.
You can also find high stakes bingo games on tribal lands in special ‘bingo halls”, such as the South Portland Bingo Hall and the Penobscot High Stakes Bingo. The wide range of bingo games available in this state makes them an attractive choice for locals. The minimum age to participate in Bingo is also 16.
There are no laws against online gambling in Maine at the moment but it is considered illegal. Also, similar to most other states, online gambling operators are the focus of law enforcement instead of players.