Guide to Online Gambling in Maine
Maine is known for quite a few things like lobster, its expansive coastline, pine trees, and lighthouses. But gambling is typically nowhere to be found toward the top of anyone’s list.
Gambling in Maine isn’t nonexistent, but it’s also not prevalent. Although you can gamble online for real money in ME, the best Maine gambling sites are located outside of the state.
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You can count on one hand the number of land-based gambling opportunities open in Maine.
The Pine Tree State has experienced slow gambling expansion since 1935 and it’s in no rush to change things.
In addition to the lottery, Maine houses one racetrack, one racino, and one casino. In 2017, daily fantasy sports (DFS) were approved, but sportsbook proponents haven’t been as lucky.
Currently, DFS is the only form of Maine online gambling regulated in-state. While Mainers have access to casino sites, as well as online sportsbooks and poker rooms, the operations originate from other jurisdictions outside of the area.
Best Maine Gambling Sites
It can be challenging to locate the best of the best real money online gambling providers in Maine without any in-state regulation. You won’t find a government-produced directory of betting sites. Picking the operators based on a simple internet search won’t do the trick either.
As you’re risking your money, it’s essential to know more about the Maine gambling sites you’re accessing online. Reputation, customer service, and fair and honest gaming should be fundamental. The top-rated gambling sites for ME are all excellent, but you need to know where to find them.
That’s where we come in, as we’ve handled the groundwork of creating directories, reviewing every website, removing operators who are subpar from the list, and presenting our recommendations. Our team is well-versed in evaluating the criteria and comparing one service to another.
As you continue reading, you’ll learn more about what types of Maine gambling sites are available. We’ll also cover the differences between walking into a casino like Hollywood or Oxford and selecting a real money gambling opportunity on your computer or smartphone.
Gambling Legislation in ME
Like many of its sister states, legalized gambling in Maine kicked off with pari-mutuel wagering on horse racing.
It started back in 1935 and is still going strong today. While there are currently only two racetracks remaining, four off-track betting sites (OTBs) pick up the slack.
Pari-Mutuel and Maine Lottery
Over the past few decades, the tracks were given the go-ahead to expand their offerings. But even before the racino evolution, additional gambling opportunities emerged starting in 1974 with the lottery.
Maine’s lottery demonstrated to residents the positive side of gambling expansion. Over the years, more than 250 state agencies have benefited from lottery proceeds. The lottery is a brick and mortar-only operation and has yet to go online.
The Start of Casino Gaming
In the ‘80s, tribal bingo launched. Charity gambling is permitted in Maine, but Native American venues were approved for higher-stakes bingo instead of Vegas-style casino gaming. That’s not the end of the line for casino games, though.
Then, in 2003, Maine accepted the concept of racinos. Bangor Raceway turned into the Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway in 2004. Pari-mutuel and slots were the only games for about seven years, and then tables were added to the gaming floor.
Three Land-Based Venues
Presently, Maine has three gambling venues, including one racetrack, one racino, and one casino. Lottery tickets sales are throughout the state, and DFS (daily fantasy sports) emerged in 2017, but they’re online pursuits.
Just like most other places in the US, gambling expansion is currently on the legislative floor. Some states are weighing the pros and cons of online gambling sites, while others are in the midst of the sportsbook debate.
Sports betting, including mobile access, has bipartisan support in the Pine Tree State.
However, the bill was stalled once again in 2020 after the governor vetoed it. There weren’t enough votes to overturn the veto. However, you can be sure that the book isn’t closed on sportsbooks.
Gambling Online in Maine
Without a mobile sportsbook, the only in-state legislated online gambling in Maine in 2020 are daily fantasy sports. That doesn’t mean that other real money gambling websites for Mainers aren’t out there. We’ve listed some of the best for you and expect that new ones will pop up in the future.
Most of the ME online gambling sites typically host casino games. The virtual betting floors usually include more than 100 slots, as well as some table games versus the computer. You’ll also find some video poker machines and specialty titles, such as bingo, scratch cards, and keno.
Three Types of ME Gambling Sites
There are a few real money gambling sites that accept Maine players and lean more toward poker or sports betting, though. We’ve ranked the best Maine online gambling in three different categories, to make it easy to find what you’re looking for.
Additionally, you’ll even come across some operators who include live dealer tables. The live casino gives you the option of having an actual living, breathing dealer in charge of the table, dealing out the cards, or spinning the wheel.
Summary of Legal Gambling in Maine
- Casinos: One casino and one racino
- Sports Betting: Not approved in Maine
- Poker: A poker room in the Hollywood Casino only
- Pari-Mutuel: Four OTBs, one racino, one race track
- Lottery: Tickets available through retailers across the state
- Bingo: Charity bingo throughout the state; high-stakes at Native American venues
- Daily Fantasy Sports: Regulated and played online
- Online Gambling: Through out-of-area gambling sites only
Why Gamble Online for Real Money?
If you’re never done any betting through a casino, or a similar website, then the concept may seem entirely foreign. It’s especially so if you’re used to walking into the Oxford or Hollywood casinos.
Playing some slots or table games on your computer or smartphone can be a fun hobby or distraction. There’s also the convenience factor that carries over to placing pari-mutuel or sports wagers on your favorite site.
Once you determine which of the best Maine online gambling sites you wish to use, and set up and fund your account, you’re good to go whenever you want. If you use cryptocurrency, then you also have an increased measure of privacy. You don’t need to share bank or credit card information.
While the advantages hold up regardless of where you live, gambling online in Maine has some added benefits. It accommodates players who don’t live near one of the two brick and mortar casinos. Plus, online sportsbooks allow punters from the Pine Tree State to participate when they have no other in-state options.
Evaluating Online Gambling Sites for ME
As you now know, we take pride in our list of recommended real money gambling sites in Maine and beyond. We pay attention to the news, consider player feedback, and conduct detailed reviews of every betting and gaming site.
But you still may be curious about what makes one better than another? After all, you’re not comparing prices or faster shipping, so it’s not as straightforward.
Determining which online operations are worthy of a recommendation takes quite a bit of time and attention. We start with a complete list of real money gambling sites that allow Maine players to use their services. From there, though, we spend time on each of them, meticulously noting every pro and con.
The specific criteria that we reference includes the following qualities.
- Banking options
- Deposit or withdrawal fees
- Turnaround times for payment processing
- Bonuses and promotions
- Gambling opportunities (casino games, live dealer tables, poker room, racebook, and sportsbook)
- Licensing and regulation
- RNG certification (random number generation)
- The reputation of the ownership and management
- Customer service access, friendliness, and helpfulness
- Mobile access
- User-friendliness of the website
- Overall design and ambiance
- Player feedback
- Longevity and track record
After we have reviews in place, we compare them to see how each stacks up against the others.
Our internal process involves first removing the websites that fall short of expectations. From there, we take the ratings and rank our area directories, starting with the all-around best. But regardless of where a casino, sportsbook, or poker room ends up on the list, it’s been vetted and made the cut.
Recapping our Maine Gambling Guide
Maine residents are familiar with their in-state gambling opportunities. While there aren’t very many, they certainly surpass states like Hawaii and Utah that maintain a strict anti-gambling stance.
While the Pine Tree State has some objections to overcome before sports betting enters the scene, there are still a few things already on the table. Land-based venues include a racetrack, a racino, and a casino. Additionally, the Maine Lottery is approaching its 50th anniversary and is going strong.
Online gambling in Maine is a combination of the in-state-regulated daily fantasy sports (DFS), which is a relative newcomer, as well as real money casinos, sportsbooks, and poker rooms.
The best Maine gambling sites currently all originate from outside the area, and are regulated in a foreign jurisdiction. However, the operators are particularly accommodating to Mainers and other US players. They offer diversified banking methods, as well as licensed software used by the best American-facing sites.