Gambling in Maine


While gambling in Maine played its part during the early developmental history of the state, for the most part, modern gambling in Maine is a young and rather under-developed industry. Perhaps that is because the state is in a transitional period between decades of gambling prohibition, and a new period of licensing-and-regulation.

Maine’s state residents, however, now enjoy wide and varied choices (Daily Fantasy Sports – DFS, Harness Racing, Online Horse Racing, Casinos, Live Poker, sports betting and a superb state lottery) on which to spend their gambling entertainment dollar and new games and gambling types seem to be available regularly over the last decade or so.

Maine Casino Gambling

Maine’s State Government Statutes on Gambling make it very clear that bricks-and-mortar land-based casinos are perfectly legal.

After many years as a ‘racing-only’ gambling state, Maine’s voters cast their votes in favor of a lottery in 1974, and some 30 years later extended racetracks to become ‘racinos’ with video poker and slots with Maine State Legislature Bill LD 1371.

When revenue from the ‘racinos’ filled state coffers to bursting point, the state extended the idea to create two state-regulated land-based casino properties operating in Maine today with the bill LD 1897.

At Maine’s two casinos, you’ll find more than 1700 slots and over 40 table games.

Online Casinos in Maine

There are no specific online gambling laws banning online casinos in Maine. However, as in many states, the implicit understanding is, that as the legalities of an online casino are not mentioned as licensed and regulated in Maine, they are understood to be illegal.

Poker in Maine

Poker in Maine, and unlicensed ‘Home’ Poker games and other forms of unlicensed games are played widely due to the state of Maine having a more open-minded approach to Poker than most states of the Union.

You can play live and video poker at the state’s casinos and social poker games are legal in Maine as long as no-one profits from organizing the game.

Poker Rooms

Poker play is now open and available at both of Maine’s two land-based casinos.

Online Poker Laws

Currently, Maine’s online players are unable to play Poker online, however, it’s not all bad news for the state’s potential online gamblers. The state has legalized sports betting in 2022, and online betting options with DFS competitions and horse and greyhound racing are also available.

Given the State’s small population, Maine is considered to be a prime candidate for jackpot liquidity sharing with another small state (like Rhode Island or Delaware) once online poker becomes legalized.

History of Online & Land-Based Gambling in Maine

1950; First racetrack opens in Maine with thoroughbred-racing and switches to harness racing in 1972.

1974; Maine State Lottery tickets go on sale for the first time, and together with Vermont and New Hampshire offers the first multi-state lottery in the nation in 1985. Multi-state lotteries today form an integral part of the Maine gambling sector.

2004; Maine’s residents vote to approve the introduction of slots and video poker at state race tracks effectively transforming the tracks into ‘racinos’.

2010; State-wide referendum approves the building of 2 land-based casinos in Maine.

2017; DFS legalization bill LD 1320 passes Maine State Legislature, and online DFS competitions become legal in Maine.

2017; Voters reject a third land-based casino in Maine by an 83% to 17% vote.

2018; Announcement made that sports betting legalization bills will be introduced and debated when the Maine State Legislature reconvenes in 2019.

2022; Governor Janet Mills signs legislation into law making sports gambling legal in the state.

Visit our Main Online Sports Betting page more information on the states laws and reviews of the best online sportsbooks in the The Pine Tree State