Crisp, scenic and a quaint, Maine is home to some of the best lobster bisque west of the Atlantic, a myriad of resort and beach communities and exactly two casinos with legal real money poker gambling. No, poker betting gambling in Maine is not quite as popular as it is in say New Jersey or Nevada, but that doesn’t mean residents of the Pine Tree State don’t need to satisfy their real cash poker gambling urge in lawful Texas Hold’em and other poker games.
In fact, due to Maine’s extremely cold climate, cozying up alongside a fireplace and participating in a real money poker home game in ME has become a very popular activity among gambling locals, especially during those seemingly endless winter months in the Pine Tree State.
Not surprisingly, Maine hasn’t weighed in on the online poker legislation and Internet poker regulation debate. To date, no real money poker website bills have been passed and no Internet poker for real cash legislation has been brought before the ME committee. Maine takes a very neutral approach towards both offline and Internet poker legal gambling. The real money gambling laws ME State does have in place are loose and open to interpretation, which leads some to believe that if the government is ever presented with online poker legislation to regulate the real cash Internet poker market in Maine, poker websites would stand at least a reasonable chance of being enacted into law.
Make Vacationland that much better when you sign up for a real money US poker site account. Gamblers in Maine will have no problems with our sites.
Maine – A Long Uphill Road
Maine, although big, is sparsely populated. Its approximately 1,300,000 residents pale in comparison to other states who already have legit Internet gambling. For example, New Jersey’s 8.8 million or even Nevada’s 2.76 million. In fact, there are probably just enough poker gambling fans in Maine to place pressure upon state legislators to regulate online poker and bring ME residents some lawful real money poker websites of their own.
The problem is, there are very few regulated live real cash poker cardrooms in Maine for ME gambling fans to do their legal betting at, and before online poker is regulated and legal Internet poker brought to Maine, at least one real money poker cardroom would likely have to align with an Internet poker operating partner that offered online poker.
If too many legit real cash poker cardrooms open in Maine offering residents Texas Hold’em poker and other games, they would likely end up competing with one another over the state’s sparse population. In lieu of this, it’s very possible that online poker and Internet poker websites will not be regulated in Maine until a federal level online poker bill making real money poker websites lawful is passed.
The good news is that the ME state doesn’t seem to necessarily be against land based and Internet real cash poker and gambling and that finally, legit real money poker can be found in at least one location in Maine.
Can Players from Maine Play Poker Online?
With that said, there is no specific law that prevents players from cranking up the heat, firing up their computer and logging onto one of many poker websites where players from Maine can play real money Internet poker. Take a look at our page: we have covered where you can play poker online for real money by state, so you can see which websites are available to the people of Maine.
Is Online Poker Legal in Maine?
To be clear, no state Internet poker legislation has been passed that officially legalizes online poker in the state of Maine. We’re not and don’t claim to be a legal authority on the subject of ME poker websites, which is why we’ve comprised a list of notable statutes and information pertaining to the legality of real money Internet poker, land-based poker and gambling in general within the Pine Tree state.
We feel strongly that no matter what you ultimately decide to do when it comes to gambling on Internet poker websites, it is best to have all the information you can gather at your fingertips before making a decision to hit the virtual real money poker felt and start betting from ME.
- Gambling in Maine is defined as risking something of value, including real money, on the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence. Maine’s rather vague definition of gambling falls directly in line with that of most other states whose legal poker and gambling situation is very unclear.
- A gambling device is any device, machine or equipment that is used or usable in the playing phases of any gambling activity, including real cash poker video machines. In other words, slot machines, card shufflers and computers can all be considered gambling or betting devices in Maine.
- Games of chance are defined more rigidly. In so long as something of value is risked in a contest where the outcome is determined at least partly by chance and the luck element cannot be eliminated through the application of skill, then the game in question is considered a game of chance. Real money poker gambling would fall under this category.
- Real cash poker betting players get off easy though. Participating in a home real money poker game of anything like Texas Hold’em poker, regardless of the atmosphere is not a criminal offense, in so long as the player is of an age that it is legal in ME to take part in gambling at. However, running underground real cash poker games that reap gambling and betting poker profits for the owner is an offense.
- To date, there have been no cases in Maine where the exact penalty for running such a non-legit poker game has been determined. It at least appears that laws pertaining to home real money poker games are not strictly enforced.
To read more about Maine’s gambling and poker betting statutes, rules and regulations, please check out the Maine Gambling Control Board .
The History of Gambling in Maine
Maine doesn’t have quite the exciting history of gambling and poker betting as prominent poker gambling states like Nevada, or even nearby ones like Connecticut. But to the surprise of most, Maine’s gambling history dates all the way back to the Colonial Era. During that time, lotteries and raffles were held throughout the state allowing the citizens of ME to take part in real money gambling, much like they were in the other 12 colonies, with many of them persisting and growing throughout the 1800s.
In the late 1800s casinos and legal real cash poker rooms in Maine were being built alongside trolley lines in populated cities like Portland. And in 1973, Maine was among the first states to regulate betting on a statewide lottery.
Gambling on horseracing, while not as widespread in Maine as in other states (largely due to its climate), is a popular tourist attraction for visitors to ME who like the idea of real money gambling. Maine is home to the well-regarded Scarborough Downs. Residing on ME State’s southern coast, the Downs is an attraction where visitors can root for and wager real cash on their favorite horse as they fly around New England’s fastest track. To sweeten its appeal, in 2004 voters approved a proposal that would allow slot machines at gambling racetracks.
Bingo is also an extremely popular form of real money betting within the state of Maine. The tribal owned Penobscot High Stakes BINGO is one of the largest and most prestigious bingo halls in the nation, boasting top prizes of up to $250,000.
But it wouldn’t be until very recently that Maine would offer what tens-of-thousands have wanted for years: a commercial casino with a real money poker gambling room.
Maine has a thriving land-based poker room and casino scene but does not seem to be interested in approving online poker anytime soon.
Regulated Gambling Options in Maine
There are exactly two real cash casinos in Maine: The Hollywood Casino in Bangor  and the newer Oxford Casino in Oxford. The Hollywood Casino only introduced table games into the mix in 2012. As of the time of writing, real money betting players who visit the casino can enjoy blackjack, roulette, craps, and yes – real money poker.
The Oxford Casino is the only modern regulated commercial casino in Maine. It opened its doors in 2012 and features classic betting games like slots, blackjack, craps and roulette.
It is expected that the gambling presence in Maine will only continue to grow over the coming years with more legal poker destinations opening up to serve Maine’s poker betting fans. Evidence supports this claim, as revenues from commercial casinos and real cash poker rooms grew by a staggering 66.9% from 2011 to 2012 alone.
But given Maine’s spartan population, the real cash poker offline and Internet poker gambling industry will likely only be able to grow so much. Still, it’s good to know that gambling and poker in Maine is alive and thriving in the Pine Tree state.
The Future of Regulated Online Gambling in Maine
The prospect of online gambling and Internet poker coming to Maine anytime soon is a long shot, although it’s a bit more likely than before that lawful real money poker websites could open up to betting customers soon. Recall, Maine state regulated gambling and Internet poker relies on the presence of brick and mortar casinos and real cash poker rooms that offer table games and poker variants like Texas Hold’em poker. Without them, online gambling poker website software providers don’t have a place to set up shop.
The presence of at least one casino and real cash poker gambling room that offers both table games and poker, combined with the Maine government’s generally passive stance on casino and real money poker gambling, leads some to believe that online gambling and Internet poker will one day be regulated by the state of Maine.
Believe it or not, gambling offline and at Internet poker websites for real cash is thriving in Maine. Within the past 18 months Maine’s two land based casinos began offering table games to gambling customers (one of them real money poker.) While not a highly populated state, Maine does attract a ton of tourists, many of whom are interested in gambling on legal poker games. And to date, the state of ME brings in nearly $30 million worth of tax revenue from real cash gambling, much of which goes to essential services such as healthcare and agriculture.
But is all of this enough to generate interest in an online poker bill and regulated legal real money Internet poker websites in Maine? Maybe, but without interstate Internet poker compacts and big-name partners, Maine would not be able to survive in the online poker market because its real cash Internet poker player pool would be far too small. And it seems that for at least now, the Maine state government is more than happy generating substantial revenue from its brick and mortar casinos rather than from real money Internet poker gambling in ME.