Maine Poker & Gambling Laws

Maine Poker OnlineAs with most states, Maine has a long history when it comes to gambling. Long before any form of gambling was legalized in the state there was plenty of gambling going on. Maine was one of the first states to legalize gambling in some forms. The state has yet to legalize any casinos, but they do offer high stakes bingo games at the Indian tribes. Poker is not readily available in Maine, but social games seem to be acceptable.

Can Players From Maine Play Poker Online?

Yes! Players from Maine have a large variety of choices when it comes to playing poker online. Several sites continue to accept players from the United States, and all of these sites accept players from Maine. It is a very simple process to sign up at an online poker sites, and you can be playing real money poker games in a matter of minutes.

Is it Legal to Play Online Poker in Maine?

Maine has not directly addressed the issue of playing poker online in their laws, so the question of legality is up in the air. Maine has several laws in place in regards to gambling. The laws can be interpreted to make playing online poker illegal, and a different interpretation of the laws could say it is legal. It is all in the eyes of the beholder.

We have found some laws of interest in regards to gambling which we have highlighted below:

  • The state of Maine defines gambling as A person engages in gambling if he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. (Section 952(4))
  • Many people consider poker a game of skill and not a game of chance, but Maine has defined what they consider an element of chance as includes but is not limited to a shuffle of a deck or decks of cards, a roll of a die or dice or a random drawing or generation of an object or objects that may include, but are not limited to, a card or cards, a die or dice, a number or numbers or simulations of any of these. (Section 952 (3C)) [1]
  • Charitable Poker Games are legal in Maine with proper licensing. [2]
  • The legality of social poker games is unclear under the statutes.
  • We have found no instance where an individual has been charged in Maine for playing poker online.

If you would like to find out if it is against the law to play online poker in Maine then we advise you to contact a lawyer for clarifications of the laws. We are in no way experts on the laws in Maine.

Maine Gambling History

Maine may not be the most gambling rich state, but it has a long history of gambling. The first legalized gambling came to the state in the form of a race track. The Scarborough Downs Harness Race Trace opened in 1950, and it is still open today. Other race tracks were also opened around the state.

In 1973, Maine legalized a state lottery. This was one of the first states to offer lottery to their residents. It was very popular and by 1985 the state had developed a multi-state lottery with New Hampshire and Vermont. The year 1985 also brought about the legalization of charitable gambling and bingo in Maine.

After the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988 passed the Indian Tribes in Maine fought for their rights to open gaming. They were allowed bingo halls. High stakes bingo games are offered, and this has been a lucrative business that has attracted tourists. The tribes have tried to expand gaming to add other casino games, but the state of Maine has not allowed it thus far.

The race tracks were eventually allowed to offer casino games. You will find a huge selection of games available today at the Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway including poker, blackjack, and slot games. In 2010, the voters of Maine decided to allow a land based casino in Oxford County. This was the first casino in Maine. [3]

Currently Maine has a wide array of gambling available. Whether you like to play high stakes bingo or bet on horse races, you will have many of options in Maine. The addition of gambling options over the years has played a huge role in the tourism industry in Maine.

Legalized Gambling Options in Maine

As we mentioned earlier, there are a wide variety of options for gamblers in the state of Maine. A state lottery, pari-mutuel betting on horses, casino games at the trace tracks, a stand-alone land based casino and high stakes bingo games are readily available.

Will Maine Legalize Online Poker in the Future?

Maine has yet to address online poker. It is unclear whether or not the state will allow online poker in the future. Many people believe that in the upcoming years the federal government will pass legislation to mandate online poker. If this happens, the individual states will be able to opt out of legislation if they choose to do so. I think that Maine would allow online poker if there was a federal mandate, but that is my opinion and I may be wrong.


  1. Jump up ^ Maine Gambling Statutes
  2. Jump up ^ Charitable Poker in Maine
  3. Jump up ^ Gaming in Louisiana