Maine Gambling Laws


Posted: April 22, 2016

Updated: April 22, 2016

Maine gambling laws don’t provide many legal opportunities to gamble in the state. Their casino related laws were written in the same vein as many other US gambling laws.

Maine gambling laws

Maine gambling laws are clear-cut, concentrating mostly on the prohibition of gambling in the state. The state’s definition of gambling is similar to other US gambling laws. “A person engages in gambling if he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance […] upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.”

Unlawful gambling in Maine is a Class D crime, punishable by up to 364 days incarceration and a USD 2,000 fine. However, there are some forms of casino games in Maine that can be played legally. In 2004, the voters of Maine approved two slot machine facilities, from which only one was approved on the local level. Hollywood Slots opened its doors in 2005, after the establishment of the Gambling Control Board of Maine.

In 2010, residents approved one more gambling venue in Maine, Oxford County. Hollywood Slots offers 787 slot machines and 16 table games. At the Oxford Casino, players can enjoy 854 slots and 26 table games. As you can see, the number of games is limited but it was enough for the two casinos to amass a combined net revenue of USD 130 million in 2015. Betting in Maine is allowed only on harness racing. Bingo, as in most of the states, is exclusive to non-profit organizations.

Online Gambling in Maine

Maine gambling laws don’t specify online gaming, but this does not mean that the state’s residents are free to play at internet casinos. The definition of gambling devices befits computers or phones, used to play at online gambling sites. Gambling device “means any device […] that is used or usable in the playing phases of any gambling activity.” Such devices, including slots or card tables, can be used only at licensed casinos in Maine.

In 2012, legislators have hinted on specific Maine gambling laws, but it appears that the plans were dismissed. “This will need to be addressed by the committee,” promised representative Linda Valentino. Senator Debra Plowman insisted that online gambling is a “very sophisticated business that we need to catch up on.” As of now, there are no licensed online casinos in Maine.

Lotteries in Maine

Multi-state and local lottery ticktes are both available through Maine Lottery resellers. The first draw of the Maine State Lottery was held on June 27, 1974. The first winner, Ivan Lazure, won a USD 20 prize. The lottery proceeds of the Maine Lottery are used to support many state programs and services. The Maine State Lottery does not offer internet based lottery games.

Daily Fantasy Sports in Maine

US gambling news don’t provide any information on a pending daily fantasy sports bill in Maine. Fantasy sports are currently unregulated in the state and not included in Maine gambling laws.

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