Maine Sports Betting

We’re breaking down how Maine sports betting finally got legalized and how you can get into betting while waiting for your local sportsbook to get its license.

Maine is a small state that loves its sport, and with the legalization of sports betting only a month ago, the state can now fully embrace that love. Maine locals might have to sit tight while the more delicate details get ironed out, but the first sportsbooks will likely open up next year.

In the meantime, Maine has two casinos, one of which is a racino, so that locals can enjoy the only legal sports betting across the country: horse racing. But, if you’re willing to travel, Maine sports betting fans can also hop across a couple of state lines in a few hours, or maybe even a country border to reach somewhere where sports betting is welcomed.

Maine hasn’t got a lot of professional teams, and so supports those of its neighbors, most notably the teams of New York that everyone has heard of. The names of the Mets, Yankees, Giants, Harlem Globetrotters, etc. are known worldwide, so there are sure to be a few living in Maine just a few hours’ drive away.

We’re breaking down how Maine sports betting finally got legalized and how you can get into betting while waiting for your local sportsbook to get its license.

Legal Online Sports Betting in Maine

Maine is the latest in a long string of US states considering legalizing sports gambling since 2018 with the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992. And as of May 2nd this year, Maine sports betting was made legal.

But it’s a long road to the finish line, and Maine hasn’t quite gotten there yet. So, for now, Maine sports betting fans will have to satisfy their love through horse racing, like most of the rest of the states are doing, because horse racing has been an exception to the law since its inception in 1992. In the meantime, sportsbooks need to be developed, licenses need to be handed out, and the Maine land, currently quite a baron of casinos, will no doubt expand with new business.

How To Pick A Maine Sports Betting Site

In the meantime, if you are a Maine resident will have to look elsewhere to indulge in their sports wagering whims. Until your favorite sportsbooks have a license to operate in Maine, sports betting will have to be limited to horse racing.

But don’t worry; many new sportsbooks will likely make their way to Maine sports betting fans now that the concept is legal, and perhaps some new brands are in the works. These include the likes of DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars.

If you are shopping around for online gambling platforms and sportsbooks to bet on, make sure that it is licensed. You’re looking for the seal of the Maine Gambling Control Unit to allow you to bet safely and legally.

History / Timeline Of Sports Betting in Maine

Maine sports betting has been being reviewed since April 19th of this year. LD 585 sports betting legislation was passed to Gov Janet Mills, who signed the bill into law on May 2nd, 2022. Unfortunately, the Maine sports betting bill only just managed to get past the Senate 23-11 on the last possible night of the 2022 legislative session, making for a Cinderella story worthy of a Denzel Washington movie.

It makes Maine the first state to pass a sports betting legalization bill in 2022, and there is no doubt that many sports fans are excited. This wasn’t their first try, after all. Gov Mills vetoed the LD 553 bill that was also looking to legalize online and sports betting, but luckily, the Supreme Court flipped his decision and sent it to the House. But there, it died a death, failing to overturn Governor Mill’s veto. There was another attempt in 2021, but LD 1352 Maine legislature stalled out and stayed there until the close of the 2021 legislative session.

But, on January 18th of this year, the LD 585 bill was created, and Maine sports betting was legalized by May.

Maine Sports Teams

Maine is a state full of sports fans, mainly in basketball, baseball, and ice hockey, like any true northerner. Maine is a little low on professional teams, but their helpful geographical location as the easternmost and northernmost state allows for much crossover amongst sports fans. Being such a small state surrounded by small states, state professional teams overlap in fans, and its place on the edge of Canada’s border allows national pride to encourage either the US’s Great White neighbors’ success or healthy competition.

Maine’s professional teams consist of the Maine Celtics in the NBA, the Portland Sea Dogs in minor league baseball, and Maine Mariners in ice hockey. However, Maine sports betting fans’ love of sport show their support of the non-professional Portland Phoenix FC soccer team and the Maine Roller Derby women’s team.

But, lucky for Maine sports betting fans, there is plenty to love from the states, and countries, around them.

If Maine sports betting fans were to head west, they’d first face New Hampshire, which is similarly low own major league teams, but a love of baseball, rugby, American football, and soccer. Then, keep going, and they’ll hit Vermont, a great lover of sports, particularly winter sports, due to its abundance of ski resorts that attract tourists worldwide. But that isn’t all Vermont has to offer. Maine sports betting fans can head to Vermont to enjoy baseball, including the state’s biggest franchise, the Vermont Lake Monsters, basketball, American football, hockey, soccer, and motorsports, with the Thunder Road International Speedbowl in Barre.

Suppose Maine sports betting fans were to turn south then. In that case, they’d end up in Massachusetts, which is home to five major league professional sports teams: the Boston Celtics of the NBA, the MLB Boston Red Sox, the NHL Boston Ruins, the NFL New England Patriots, and the Major League Soccer Team New England Revolution. It’s easy to see Maine sports betting fans’ attraction to Massachusetts teams.

But the most significant area for entertainment for Maine sports betting fans undoubtedly comes from New York. The Big Apple is arguably the second capital of the country, and a major tourist attraction where people come from all around the world and all over the country, having been spurred on by the abundance of sports stadiums and professional teams. The biggest names include the likes of the New York Jets and Giants, New York Yankees, New York Mets, Harlem Globetrotters, and New York Rangers. In addition, the state has three professional American football teams, 12 baseball teams, nine basketball teams, 11 ice hockey teams, five lacrosse teams, five rugby teams, and 16 soccer teams. And that’s only covering the professionals in a state known for its universities.

If Maine sports fans were to head directly north, either east or west, they’d hit Canada, which is known for its love of sports, particularly hockey. Less than eight hours of driving would get you to Quebec or Ontario, and less than five hours would get you to New Brunswick, where there is an abundance of new leagues and teams to support across hockey, basketball, baseball, soccer, and Canadian football.

So, there is a lot for Maine sports betting fans to enjoy. With the more mainstream appeal of Canadian football leagues, it has become common to see the CFL listed amongst the sports you can bet on in modern sportsbooks. Some sportsbooks have even expanded into other leagues, such as hockey and basketball. So, you can see why the northernmost state in the US might find that appealing.

Retail Sports Betting in Maine

Maine sports betting fans will be happy to know that there is one singular retail casino in the state. The Oxford Casino Hotel in Oxford boasts over 1,000 slot machines, 30 table games, 10 poker tables, and three dining options to choose from in a hotel hosting 100 rooms and 7 suites.

However, it doesn’t appear to offer sports betting or have an attached sportsbook, so Maine sports betting fans will have to travel elsewhere to fix their sports betting. There are no casinos in New Hampshire or Vermont; however, there are two to choose from in Massachusetts: the Encore Boston Harbor and MGM Springfield.

Encore Boston Harbor has over 3,130 slot machines, 144 table games, and 88 poker tables, but it impresses with a whopping 12 dining options, three bars and nightlife options, and a calendar full of live concerts and shows. However, the beautiful spa and fitness center isn’t likely to satisfy Maine sports betting fans the way a sportsbook would, which the entire state of Massachusetts is missing.

The MGM Springfield Casino also doesn’t have an attached sportsbook. However, it does have a sports bar option among its three bars and six restaurants. It also has live gigs, over 2,500 slot machines, 120 table games, and 23 poker tables to compensate for the lack of sports betting in the state.

No, if Maine sports betting fans want to get involved legally, they’ll have to travel to New York, which, being the tourist hub, hosts 25 casinos. In addition, there are six retail casinos and two cruise ship casinos. Unfortunately, the two cruise ship casinos don’t appear to offer sports betting, and neither does Jakes 58 Hotel and Casino or Rivers Schenectady Casino. Still, Turning Stone Casino, Del Lago Resort and Casino, and Resort World, New York City, offer sportsbooks you can bet on.

It is also worth mentioning that Canada has legalized sports betting since 1985, so if you were to venture into Quebec, Ontario, or Brunswick, you’re likely to find an outlet for your Maine sports betting needs.

Tribal Casinos

Unfortunately, not only does Maine not have any tribal casinos, but neither does New Hampshire, Vermont, or Massachusetts. As a result, Maine sports betting fans will have to head into The City That Never Sleeps or New Jersey to indulge in sports betting in a tribal casino.

There are 10 in New York to choose from, the three most prominent being the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort, run by the Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe in Hogansburg, the Yellow Brick Road Casino, run by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York in Chittenango, and Point Place Casino, run by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York in Bridgeport. And the best part is these casinos run by tribes offer sports betting.

The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort has over 1,800 slot machines, 27 casino table games, 5 poker tables, and a sports bar among its six dining and drinking options, where you can bet on a massive range of sports with their sportsbook. You can also enjoy some live concerts and shows after you hit the pool and spa during your stay.

The Yellow Brick Road casino has over 430 slot machines and 20 table games, including 5 poker tables. In addition, it offers three dining options and a “saloon” to drink from while you watch live gigs and shows. But, most importantly, the Yellow Brick Road Casino uses the Caesars sportsbook to keep Maine sports betting fans entertained.

Point Place Casino has over 500 slots, 20 table games, and 8 poker tables, and it uses the Caesars sports book to deliver you sports betting options. In addition, it has three dining and bar options, including the Caesars’ sponsored The Lounge.

Daily Fantasy Sports

Daily fantasy sports have always occupied a grey area legally across the US. Since it was created after the 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act banning sports betting, it was unofficially lumped in with sports betting, having never got a law to say it was legal and often left under the umbrella term of sports betting. This is an interesting choice considering the idea of daily fantasy sports betting has been deemed a game of skill rather than chance.

However, with the legalization of Maine sports betting, you can bet that daily fantasy sports will explode in Maine. Maine is a big lover of American football, baseball, basketball, and hockey, which all lend themselves well to the daily fantasy sports concept.

With Maine sports betting now legal, there are bound to be a lot of sportsbooks setting up operations in the state. Among them will be the two leading daily fantasy sports suppliers: DraftKings and Fan Duel, each with their sportsbooks for real world sports betting.

Offshore Sports Betting

Offshore sports betting is rarely a good idea. However, it is one of the few options until Maine sports betting is developed and brought to the casinos. A little patience would be a better option, as offshore sportsbooks don’t tend to have the licensing to protect you or your funds.

If you insist on betting on offshore platforms, look for a license approved by the United States from a gambling authority operating in the US. Your options are the Costa Rica Gambling Authority or the Curacao eGaming Authority. If you ignore the lack of license from either of those two options and you get in trouble, you won’t have the protection of an authority to reimburse you.

Maine Horse Racing & Off-Track Betting

Fans of Maine sports betting can indulge if they fancy betting on the horses. Maine has one racino, the Hollywood Casino Bangor, which allows you to bet on horse racing and off-track racing. With DJs and live music frequently featured at the venue, there are plenty of reasons to visit this hotel and casino. The casino is made up of over 800 slot machines and 16 table games, as well as four poker tables.

There is also a racino in Massachusetts, the Plainridge Park Casino, which will allow horse race and off-track betting. It has over 1,250 slot machines but no table games, including poker. There are seven drink and dining options to experience and live performances almost every night.

However, neither of these states has legalized sports betting. So, if Maine sports betting fans want to do so legally, they’ll have to head into New York, where seven racinos are waiting for them. Nevertheless, it’s perfect for Maine sports betting fans who want to incorporate a bit of horse racing into their sports betting.

Final Thoughts / Summary

Maine is a small state but a concentrated one. Consequently, its sports fans come in abundance, and being so close to such an internationally recognized sports buff of a state like New York is sure to rub off on them. No doubt, the legalization of Maine sports betting will likely result in sportsbooks and online casinos moving into the area and maybe even a few more casinos to compete with the two already there.

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About Joe Kizlauskas

Joe is a seasoned iGaming copywriter and speaker who has been in the business since 2015. He's written more words on all elements of iGaming than he likes to remember, and he's contributed material to a number of well-known brands. Joe may be seen playing 5 a side, at the gym or playing games on his Playstation when he is not writing.