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Maine Sports Betting Updates

Sports betting was legalized in Maine in May 2022. However, online and retail sportsbooks are yet to launch in ME.

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Maine sports betting is legal but yet to launch. In the meantime, sports fans in ME can play Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games on the sites listed above.

Contents

Maine Sports Betting Summary

Maine Governor Janet Mills legalized sports betting by signing LD 585 on May 2, 2022. This bill came after several attempts to legalize wagering in ME and handed the state’s four tribes the authority to license one sportsbook each. BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel are among the operators that might partner with the tribes and launch online in Maine.

The Maine Gambling Control Board (MGCB) will oversee the licensing process that will allow sportsbooks to launch in the Pine Tree State. In addition, the board will license the state’s two commercial casinos and four more racetracks or off-track betting (OTB) sites to provide retail sportsbooks.

Read our complete guide to discover everything you need to know about Maine’s sports betting market, from news about sportsbooks launching and legislative developments to eligibility requirements and teams to bet on.

Maine Online Sportsbooks Summary

With Maine only legalizing sports betting in May 2022, no sportsbooks have launched in the state as of July 2022. Four mobile betting licenses are available, each operated by one of the local tribes. These tribes will partner with commercial sportsbook operators, with oversight from the Maine Gambling Control Board (MGCB). Until sports betting goes live, bettors can focus on online horse racing betting. TVG and TwinSpires allow ME residents to wager on races from across the US.

Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games are also available in Maine. ESPN, Boom, Yahoo!, and BoomFantasy offer DFS in ME, while DraftKings and FanDuel’s platforms are among the most popular operators in the Pine Tree State. The existing infrastructure to provide DFS games may help these operators apply for online sports betting licenses. Barstool Sportsbook might launch online in Maine too, with its owner Penn National Gaming the operator of the Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway in Bangor. BetMGM and Caesars are also contenders to go live online in Maine.

Bettors in Maine can travel to neighboring New Hampshire and place wagers using DraftKings at retail sportsbooks or online. You can also journey further afield and visit New York to wager using one of nine online sportsbooks. BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings, and FanDuel are among the legal sports betting options in NY.

How to Place a Bet in Maine

You can place horse racing bets online while you wait for full-scale sports betting sites to launch in Maine. Registering with an online horse racing betting site is simple, so follow our guide below to get started:

  1. Do your research on any horse races you choose for betting. Anything can happen during a horse race, but knowing the top picks will help you place better bets.

  2. Choose a legal online horse racing betting site like TVG or TwinSpires.

  3. Visit your chosen horse racing betting site and register an account. You must provide your full name, address, phone number, and other personal details.

  4. Use the site’s cashier section to make a deposit. You can choose your preferred payment method and deposit however much you want.

  5. Look through the horse races on offer and back a horse of your choosing. Add the wager to your bet slip, choose your stake, and place the bet.

  6. If your bet is successful, return to the cashier and follow the site’s instructions to withdraw.

Banking Methods Available in Maine

The banking methods that will be available in Maine have not yet been confirmed. However, we can make an informed prediction by looking at the options offered by sportsbooks that operate in other states.

Bank cards like Visa and MasterCard are widely accepted at US sportsbooks but may only be available for deposits. However, some cards cannot be used, as a few US banks still reject transfers to and from online betting sites. E-wallets are popular with sports bettors in other states, with Paypal and Skrill being likely options for Maine bettors.

Play+ also has partnerships with sportsbooks expected to launch in Maine like BetMGM and DraftKings, so it’s expected to be available. PayNearMe is another likely option, and there are retailers across Maine like CVS and 7-Eleven where players can top up these cards. Banking methods like online bank transfers, wire transfers, and Automated House Clearing (ACH) will also probably be available on ME sportsbooks.

Who is Eligible to Bet in ME?

You must be at least 21 years old to bet legally in Maine. Although you don’t have to live in ME and can register from anywhere, you must be within the state’s borders while betting. The Maine Gambling Control Board (MGCB) has not published the exact rules yet, but we expect restrictions to look similar to those in the majority of other legal betting states. With this in mind, individuals who meet any of the criteria below are likely to be prohibited from sports betting:

  • Athletes, coaches, or members of any professional or college sports team.

  • Referees for professional and college sports leagues.

  • Individuals employed by the leagues that create rules for sports (e.g., NBA, NCAA).

  • Individuals with the professional authority to influence players.

  • Individuals with a stake in a sports team.

  • Individuals employed by organizations with licensing from the Maine Gambling Control Board, including key staff, owners, directors, and officers. This includes members of tribes working for mobile sportsbooks.

  • Individuals with non-public information about a sports team (e.g., player medical records).

  • Individuals that have voluntarily excluded themselves from gambling activities.

  • Individuals prohibited from betting on a state or federal level (e.g., due to criminal history).

Latest Maine Sports Betting Updates

Current Sports Betting Status in Maine

Gov. Mills signed LD 585 in May 2022 to legalize retail and online sports betting. Tribes will partner with online sportsbook operators to bring mobile betting to the state. The Maine Gambling Control Board (MGCB) will license both commercial casinos and up to four more retail sportsbooks at off-track betting locations and racetracks. Tribal authorities will report directly to the MGCB as a part of the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980.

Timeline for Sports Betting in Maine

  • May 2, 2022: Gov. Mills signs LD 585 to legalize sports betting in Maine.

  • April 19, 2022: The Senate passes LD 585 with changes that the House confirms.

  • April 14, 2022: The House passes LD 585, a bill to legalize online and retail sports betting in partnership with tribes.

  • July 2, 2021: SB 1352 is withdrawn from Gov. Mills because the bill is not ready. The bill moves to the Appropriations Table.

  • June 23, 2021: The House approves SB 1352, putting it on Gov. Mills’ desk.

  • June 1, 2021: The Senate passes SB 1352, but the bill is modified so online sportsbooks must be partnered with a land-based casino. Senator Louis Luchini refuses to vote in favor of the bill because of this.

  • April 9, 2021: Sen. Luchini proposes SB 1352 to legalize sports betting in Maine. SB 1352 includes legislation that mobile sportsbooks don’t need to partner with local tribes.

  • February 11, 2020: The House’s voting falls short of the two-thirds needed to override the Governor’s veto.

  • February 6, 2020: The Senate votes to override the Governor’s veto.

  • January 10, 2020: Gov. Mills vetoes LD 553, saying Maine isn’t ready for sports betting.

  • June 19, 2019: LD 553 passes the House and Senate.

  • January 31, 2019: LD 553, a bill endorsed by Sen. Luchini that aims to legalize online and retail sports betting, is introduced to the Senate.

  • May 14, 2018: The US Supreme Court strikes down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA). This allows individual states to create legislation for sports betting.

Maine Sports Betting Background

Maine has come close to legalizing sports betting in the past with a bill to legalize online and retail sports betting, LD 553, reaching Gov. Mills’ desk in January 2020. However, Gov. Mills vetoed the bill and explained in a two-page letter to the Legislature that “the majority of Maine people” were not ready for sports betting. In addition, Mills suggested that revenue projections had fallen short in other states.

Mills also mentioned she was ready to “examine the issue more closely”. This left the door open to future sports betting legislation, even though an attempt to override Mills’ veto fell short by an 85-57 vote in the House. Another bill, SB 1352, to pass sports betting was introduced in 2021, but after being sent to the Governor prematurely, it ended up dead in the Appropriations and Financial Affairs Committee.

Future of Maine Sports Betting

Bill LD 585 allows for two retail and four online sportsbook licenses, with each of the state’s four tribes permitted to operate a commercial online sportsbook. Each of the state’s two casinos can apply for a retail sportsbook license along with four licenses for off-track betting locations and horse racing tracks. That’s a potential total of four online licenses and six retail licenses.

The Maine Gambling Control Board (MGCB) has started drafting the rules and regulations for the new sports betting market. These rules will include setting out the requirements for sportsbooks applying for online licenses with tribes and retail licenses. Tribes in Maine follow the state’s authority in accordance with the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980, and so these decisions will be made by the MGCB rather than tribal authorities.

While it has not been confirmed which sportsbooks will apply for licenses, there are some likely contenders. Barstool Sportsbook is operated by Penn National Gaming, which owns the Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor. This is one of the casinos that is eligible for a retail sportsbook. Meanwhile, FanDuel and DraftKings already operate Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) in ME, so both operators will likely look for licensing. BetMGM and Caesars are live in a host of other legal betting states and may be available in Maine in the future. However, experts predict it may be late 2023 or 2024 before Maine sports betting launches.

Maine Sports Betting Locations

There are two land-based casinos in Maine: Hollywood Casino and Raceway in Bangor and Oxford Casino in Oxford. Hollywood Casino is a Racino. Both casinos will be eligible to apply for a retail sports betting license. Another four retail licenses can be taken by off-track betting locations and horse racing tracks.

At the moment, there is no intention for more commercial casinos to open in the Pine Tree State. However, once sports betting laws are confirmed with a timeline for the launch of retail betting, operators may be more interested.

Unlike in other states, there are no tribal casinos in Maine, as the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act of 1980 blocks tribes from building casinos.

If you want to place retail sports wagers, you can travel to ME’s neighboring state New Hampshire and place bets at one of its retail sportsbooks operated by DraftKings. In-person betting is also available in Connecticut, New York, and Rhode Island.

Maine Lottery Locations

When sports betting launches in Maine, it will be overseen by the Maine Gambling Control Board. The MGCB will work with tribal authorities to introduce mobile and retail sports betting. The Maine Lottery was established in 1974, and it has no authority over sports betting regulations. Due to this, lottery retailers will not be able to provide sports wagering.

Off-Track and Stadium Betting Locations

Retail sportsbooks can only launch at off-track betting (OTB) locations and racetracks according to legislation in LD 585. So, while no stadiums or other sports venues can open retail sportsbooks, pari-mutuel horse racing betting venues may have retail sports betting in the future.

Maine has two harness racing tracks, one at Scarborough Downs and one at Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor. The Maine State Harness Racing Commission oversees all horse racing and pari-mutuel betting. You can visit six OTB locations in Maine and place legal pari-mutuel bets.

Name Address Phone Number
Bangor Raceway OTB 107 Dutton Street, Bangor, ME 04401 (207) 561-60681
Favorites OTB (Behind The End Zone Sports Bar) 38 College Avenue, Waterville, ME, 04901 (207) 861-4343
Marco’s Italian Restaurant 12 Mollison Way, Lewiston, ME 04240 (207) 783-0336
Sanford OTB 890 Main Street, Sanford, ME, 04073 (207) 490-0030
Scarborough Downs Off Track Betting at The Downs Club US Route 1, Scarborough, ME 04074 (207) 883-4331
Winners Sports Grill 20 Farley Road, Brunswick, ME 04011 (207) 725-8801

Maine Responsible Gambling Resources

  • Maine Council on Problem Gambling – Provides links to gambling treatment resources, advice for responsible gambling, and ways to test for problem gambling. (866) 811-5695

  • Maine Division of Disease Prevention Gambling – Outlines ways to place ‘Safe Bets’ and offers resources for spotting the signs of problem gambling. 2-1-1 (Maine only)

  • Gamblers Anonymous – Organizes meetings where problem gamblers can attend and share their experiences. This includes real-life meetings and Zoom calls. (855) 222-5542

Maine currently provides a state-wide self-exclusion program for casinos, which lets bettors ban themselves from visiting these locations. The state may also introduce similar measures for its retail sportsbooks and mobile betting sites. In addition, many operators in the US expected to launch in the Pine Tree State provide responsible gambling measures like deposit limits and cool-offs in other states.

Teams to Bet on in Maine

  • Pro Sports

With 1.3 million residents, Maine is the ninth least-populous state in the US. Much like nearby states New Hampshire and Vermont, Maine does not have its own major league sports franchises. As Massachusetts has a team in every major US league, sports fans in Maine tend to support these iconic New England teams:

Massachusetts
New England Patriots (NFL)
Boston Celtics (NBA)
Boston Red Sox (MLB)
Boston Bruins (NHL)
  • Minor League Sports

As there are no major league teams in Maine, residents of The Pine Tree State often lend their support to minor league teams in the area. The Maine Celtics, known as the Red Claws before 2021, play in the NBA G League and are affiliated with the Boston Celtics. They play at the 3,000-capacity Portland Exposition Building, where they’ve won three division titles, and the team has had several players recalled to the Boston Celtics main team – notably four-time NBA All-Star Rajon Rondo.

Meanwhile, the Portland Sea Dogs are a successful Double-A affiliate of the Boston Red Sox, having won five baseball division titles and one league title. Founded in 1994, the Sea Dogs play at the 7,300-capacity Hadlock Field which is named after Edson B. Hadlock Jr. – a Maine Baseball Hall of Famer who used to teach physics and coach baseball at Portland High.

Playing their first ever game in 2018, the Maine Mariners are a relocation of the Alaska Aces, playing ice hockey in the ECHL. The team is an affiliate of the Boston Bruins and Providence Bruins, and play in front of 6,000 at the Cross Insurance Arena.

  • College Sports

Maine Black Bears: The University of Maine Black Bears are the only NCAA Division I team in Maine and play in the America East Conference for most sports. The school’s most successful program is its ice hockey team, which has won two NCAA Championships. The school’s mascot is Bananas T. Bear, named when a school crowd went “bananas” following the appearance of a real black bear at a football rally in 1914.

  • Women’s Sports

There are no professional women’s teams in Maine, but lots of strong women’s sports programs at local colleges. For example, the Maine Black Bears women’s basketball team has won nine America East Tournament Championships. The team has also been crowned regular season champions 18 times, with the most recent triumph coming in 2022.

How Does Maine Compare to Other States?

  • Market Coverage

Maine sportsbooks will let you wager on a range of professional sports, including major league games, which are available in other legal betting states. Betting lines for more niche sports are also likely to be available. For example, Barstool Sportsbook is a favorite to launch in ME and has an official partnership with NASCAR.

You won’t be able to wager on college teams from within the state, which matches regulations from nearby states like Rhode Island which prohibit college sports betting.

  • Competitive Odds & Prices

It’s likely that well-known operators like DraftKings, FanDuel, and Barstool Sportsbook will launch in Maine. These sportsbooks offer the same betting odds in every state, and Maine is expected to be no different. Barstool Sportsbook is the most likely sportsbook to launch and is known for its generous odds on MLB moneyline favorites.

  • Gambling Revenue

The current Maine legislation states tribes must pay a 10% tax on betting revenue. This is the same tax rate as West Virginia and Wyoming. West Virginia has a population larger than ME by around 500,000 residents, no major sports teams, and legalized mobile and retail sportsbooks with multiple providers. This makes it a good point of comparison to Maine. As of May 2022, West Virginia’s betting handle is $1,481,998,192, its betting revenue is $115,662,566, bringing in taxes of $11,566,257.

Maine may achieve similar figures to this, but we expect them to be lower. West Virginia was one of the first states to legalize sports betting in August 2018, so it had the benefit of bettors traveling from nearby Washington DC to place bets. Maine won’t receive the same foot traffic, with its only neighbor New Hampshire also offering sports betting. However, considering the population and tax rates similarities, West Virginia offers a good point of comparison for Maine.

  • Betting Taxes

No matter the final regulations in Maine, bettors will need to pay tax on wagers to the IRS. If you win more than $600, you will need to fill out a W-2G form. In addition, sportsbooks can hold up to 25% of your winnings for tax purposes. Your betting winnings will also be subject to Maine income tax, which has three income brackets. These range from you paying 5.80% in tax up to 7.15% depending on income.

Sportsbooks must also pay taxes following the Internal Revenue Code, including an excise tax of 0.25% of the betting handle. Operators also pay $50 for every employee involved in taking bets.

Who Oversees Sports Betting in Maine?

The Maine Gambling Control Board (MGCB) is the top authority for sports betting in the Pine Tree State. The MGCB consists of five members appointed by the governor and has the final say in all regulatory and licensing matters.

Assisting the MGCB is the Maine Gambling Control Unit (MGCU), which provides support in gathering information about gambling in the state, enforcing new regulatory measures, and collecting taxes. The MGCU oversees charitable gaming like bingo completely separately from the MGCB.

Online sports betting in Maine will be overseen by the four state tribes: the Maliseet, Micmac, Penobscot, and Passamaquoddy. Each of these tribes will be responsible for choosing an online operator and ensuring that operators meet local requirements for safe sports betting. The MGCU will oversee this.

FAQs

Is betting legal in Maine?

Sports betting is legal in Maine but hasn’t launched yet. Governor Janet Mills signed LD 585 on May 2, 2022, to bring sports betting to the state. This followed failed attempts to legalize sports betting in 2020 and 2021.

Who governs sports betting in Maine?

The Maine Gambling Control Board (MGCB) oversees sports betting in Maine. The Maine Gambling Control Unit (MGCU) supports the MGCB and helps implement its gambling regulations. Tribal authorities will operate mobile sportsbooks with supervision from the MGCB.

When will sports betting launch in Maine?

It’s undecided when sports betting will launch in Maine, as the Maine Gaming Control Board (MGCB) needs to create rules for sports betting and license operators. Experts have estimated it may be late 2023 or 2024 before sports betting launches.

Where can I bet on sports in Maine?

When sports betting launches in Maine, you will be able to use mobile apps to wager anywhere in the state. The Maine Gambling Control Board (MGCB) will offer both commercial casinos the chance to provide retail sports betting. Up to four racetracks or off-track betting locations can also offer land-based sportsbooks.

Are sportsbooks in Maine safe?

The Maine Gambling Control Board (MGCB) is drafting rules to ensure that sports betting in Maine is safe. This will include extensive background checks on license applicants, tests of security measures, and regular inspections. The MGCB will also set out the responsible gambling measures in ME.

Would I have to pay taxes on betting winnings in Maine?

Yes, you will have to pay taxes to the IRS on your betting winnings in Maine. You will need to fill out a W-2G form if you earn more than $600 through wagers. In addition, your betting winnings are also subject to state income tax.

Can you play DraftKings in Maine?

DraftKings may be one of the operators to launch in Maine. Until then, you can travel across the border to New Hampshire and use the DraftKings app for betting. DraftKings’ Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games are, though, available in ME.

Can you play FanDuel in Maine?

You can’t use FanDuel for betting, but you can play its Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) games. FanDuel is likely to be one of the first sportsbooks to launch in Maine. In the meantime, the closest state you can visit to bet with FanDuel is Connecticut.

Can you play BetMGM in Maine?

As sports betting isn’t live in Maine, you can’t use BetMGM. However, BetMGM is available in 17 states and is likely to be one of the first sportsbooks to launch in Maine. The closest place you can use BetMGM’s sportsbook until then is New York.

Can you play Caesars in Maine?

Caesars will probably be one of the first sportsbooks to launch in Maine, considering the betting site is already available in 17 states. If you want to bet with Caesars, New York is the closest place you can travel.

Can you play TwinSpires in Maine?

It’s unlikely TwinSpires will launch in Maine as its operator, Churchill Downs, is shutting down the sportsbook.

Which sportsbooks will be available in Maine in the future?

Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor owner, Penn National Gaming, also operates Barstool Sportsbook and is likely to launch this retail sportsbook in ME. Oxford Casino & Hotel is also eligible to apply for a retail sports betting license but owners Churchill Downs are in the process of closing down their TwinSpires sportsbook. BetMGM, Caesars, DraftKings and FanDuel are among the operators that might partner with tribes and launch online in Maine.