Maine Gambling Laws

States have been increasingly deregulating at least some forms of gambling. For example, most states, including Maine, allow at least non-profits or religious organizations to have a bingo night. Other states have gaming operated by the local tribes. While Maine has four federally recognized tribes, none of them are currently permitted to open a casino. Maine does have two state-licensed casinos, as does Kansas (which also has a “Hollywood” casino).

Gambling in Maine

The following table briefly outlines the basic gambling laws in Maine.

Code Section Maine Code Revised Title 8: Amusements and Sports, Chapter 11: Harness Racing, Chapter 12: Greyhound Racing and Chapter 31: Gambling Control Board
Title 17-A: Criminal Code, Chapter 39: Unlawful Gambling
Maine Gambling Control Board Rules
Gambling Gambling is defined by Maine law as staking or risking something of value on the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event (like a dog race), with the intent to receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.
Horse Racing and Off-Track Betting Harness horse racing and off-track betting is permitted, but is licensed and regulated by the Maine State Harness Racing Commission.
Dog Racing and Off-Track Betting Greyhound racing and interstate simulcasts of greyhound racing has been prohibited in Maine since 1993. The penalty for violating the greyhound racing ordinance is a civil penalty of $7,500.
Casinos Allowed Maine has two state-licensed casinos run by out-of-state corporations, the Hollywood Casino in Bangor and the Oxford Casino in Oxford. Oddly, the four federally recognized tribes of Maine, the Passamaquoddy Tribe, Penobscot Nation, Aroostook Band of Micmacs, and Houlton Band of Maliseets haven’t been permitted to open casinos on their tribal lands, yet. Although in 2014, LD 1520 attempted to pass a law for tribal gaming, but the bill died.
Other Kinds of Gambling-Related Activities Allowed or Banned Some additional permitted forms of gambling include bingo for older adults and raffles, like a school fundraising raffle.

Other gambling is banned, such as cockfighting, dogfighting, unlicensed table games, letting minors gamble, or “cooking the books” for a horse race.

If you have difficulty stopping the game until you’ve spent beyond your means, you may want to talk about responsible gaming and possible gambling problems. You can call 2-1-1 for confidential help and referrals.

Note: State laws change all the time. Please conduct your own legal research or contact a knowledgeable attorney to verify these state gambling laws.

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