Last Updated Jun 15, 2022, 10:06 AM ET
Maine is on the cusp of joining the growing list of legal U.S. sports betting markets. Pine Tree State legislators installed a regulated-wagering measure and on May 2, 2022, Gov. Mills signed the state's sports betting into law.
With the newly signed legislation, in-person betting will be allowed at casinos and off-track betting facilities. Meanwhile, internet-based wagering sits with the state’s four federally recognized Native American tribes, who can each partner with one mobile sportsbook operator.
Our Maine sports betting guide will keep you informed on all the latest legal news and betting updates.
On May 2, Maine became the first state in 2022 to pass a sports betting legalization bill. Governor Janet Mills has signed LD 585 into law, which will allow state tribes to offer statewide mobile sports betting and retail sportsbooks at gaming facilities. The bill comes into effect on July 31.
One of the major points of contention in getting sports wagering legalized in the Pine Tree State was tethering. In fact, Sen. Luchini voted against the final form of his bill after it was amended by the House of Representatives to include tethering, which ties mobile sportsbooks to in-state venues when it initially hadn’t. Luchini stated that the act of tethering is “anti-competitive,” expressing concerns about how much power it provides casinos.
Another roadblock had been Gov. Janet Mills, who had not been afraid to put a stop to any sports betting bill that arrived on her desk. In January 2020, she vetoed LD 553, legislation introduced in 2019 that would have legalized mobile and retail sports wagering. The Senate voted to override her decision, but the House of Representatives did not.
Interact with our U.S. legal tracker for the latest on each state's path to legalized sports betting.
Despite LD 1352 stalling at the Appropriations Table last July, dooming any hope it had of moving forward during the 2021 legislative session, optimism still exists for 2022. Milton Champion, the executive director of the Maine Gambling Control Unit, has noted that “It’s a matter of when, not if, for Maine sports betting.”
The following timeline recaps the history of sports wagering in the Pine Tree State:
May 29, 2022: Denise Terry, president of Scarborough Downs off-track betting, announces that May 30 will be the final day of operation.
May 2, 2022: Today, Gov. Janet Mills signed sports betting legislation into law to allow specific state tribes to offer statewide mobile sports betting. The bill goes into effect on July 31, 2022.
April 25, 2022: LD 585 is freed from the Senate’s “Special Appropriations Table.” The sports betting bill goes to Gov. Mills to be signed into law.
April 19, 2022: Gov. Mills' sports betting bill is approved via a 23-11 vote by the Maine Senate. The Penobscot, Passamaquoddy, and Maliseet tribes would control mobile wagering, while in-person betting would be allowed at casinos. The bill now requires the governor's signature to be passed into law.
Feb. 11, 2022: Gov. Mills is working on a bill that would give Maine's tribes exclusive rights to offer mobile sports betting.
Jan. 18, 2022: Sen. Luchini resigns to take a position with the U.S. Small Business Administration. Meanwhile, the sports betting legislation he created still sits on the Appropriations Table.
July 20, 2021: Despite reaching the Appropriations Table, LD 1352 stalls out. It remains there until the close of the 2021 legislative session.
July 2, 2021: A setback occurs with LD 1352, as it must go through the Appropriations Table before reaching Gov. Mills. The committee is to ensure that the bill is fiscally sound.
June 23, 2021: The House of Representatives approves LD 1352 and prepares to send it to Gov. Mills.
June 1, 2021: The Senate passes LD 1352 on to the House of Representatives, but not before amending it to require mobile sportsbooks to be tethered. Sen. Luchini himself votes against this version of the bill, arguing that tethering provides casinos with too much control.
Apr. 5, 2021: Sen. Louis Luchini revitalizes hopes for legalized sports betting by filing LD 1352. Notably, the bill contains language that would not require mobile sportsbooks to be tethered to an in-state casino to operate.
Feb. 11, 2020: The House of Representatives fails to overturn Gov. Mills’ veto of LD 553 by a vote of 85-57, effectively ending the hope of legalizing sports betting for the year.
Feb. 6, 2020: The Senate votes 20-10 to override Gov. Mills’ decision to veto LD 553, sending the motion to the House of Representatives.
Jan. 10, 2020: Gov. Mills vetoes LD 553, a bill introduced in 2019 that would have legalized mobile and retail sports wagering in the state.
May 2018: The Supreme Court (SCOTUS) repeals the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), permitting each U.S. state to legalize and regulate sports betting.
As Maine continues to let time go by without legalizing sports betting, potential tax dollars seep over state lines. Not only is neighboring New Hampshire there to offer both online and retail betting, but bordering Canada recently repealed its ban on single-game sports wagering.
Not so far away, Connecticut also provides a fully realized sports betting market, and Massachusetts is inching towards legitimizing the practice, too. If Mainers are willing to travel, there are plenty of options to choose from, emphasizing the state’s need to establish its own market.
Presently, there is no method of legally wagering on sports in the Pine Tree State. Should sports betting arrive in Maine, those who are 21 or older would be allowed to wager.
While a handful of states allow individuals 18 and up to bet on sports, Maine will not follow in their footsteps and will stick with 21 and up.
All forms of sports wagering are illegal in Maine, which means no legitimate mobile sports betting apps are accessible. Conditions to authorize and regulate mobile and online betting in Maine are included within LD 1352.
Currently, it's unclear whether bettors would be able to register for sportsbooks remotely online as opposed to in-person. Factors such as possible partnerships with state-based teams or the construction of new casinos will play into the registration process.
If and when Maine authorizes and regulates legal sports betting, any wager must be made within its borders. Those conditions also apply to betting at a retail venue, of course, but all online wagers must be verified in-state, too.
No legal retail sportsbooks presently operate in Maine. Should the Pine Tree State legalize sports wagering, Maine’s two casinos, Oxford Casino and Hollywood Casino, will likely house the first retail sportsbooks.
If the stipulations of LD 1352 indicate what will eventually come to pass, there will be a 16% tax rate for online sportsbooks and a 10% rate for retail sportsbooks. Those numbers are in addition to the 24% tax applied by the federal government to all gambling winnings.
Sports betting was nearly legalized in Maine for the second time in two years before LD 1352 stalled out on the Appropriations Table. Talks should reignite in 2022, however, and may be aided by the likelihood of more face-to-face interactions between lawmakers. According to Milton Champion, the Maine Gambling Control Unit’s executive director, online meetings “didn’t have the punch” that in-person negotiations offer.
Still, if a bill is to finally make its way into law in 2022, the concern around tethering may need further ironing out, and that’s before it even reaches Gov. Mills’ desk.
Both retail and mobile sports betting seem likely to come to the Pine Tree State should it ever manage to legalize the practice. If this proves to be the case, Mainers will be able to peruse each sportsbook in its entirety before getting started.
Picking a sportsbook means reading reviews from reliable sources, and the same applies to the best betting lines, bonuses, and available bet types. It is also advisable for new players, especially, to carefully read the fine print once sports wagering becomes available in Maine.
If sports wagering becomes legal in Maine, registration should be made simple by the inclusion of mobile betting. Prospective bettors will therefore be able to complete the sign-up process no matter where they are within the state. To begin, bettors will have to share some personal information and confirm their identity before claiming any available bonuses.
Today's mobile sportsbooks serve up substantial bonuses – such as risk-free bets exceeding $1,000 – especially when it comes to welcome or sign-up promotions. Make certain to read the terms and conditions of each offer before moving forward.
It shouldn’t be difficult to add funds to your sportsbook account. While the legal framework is not yet in place, it’s safe to assume that Maine sportsbooks will accept some combination of credit cards, debit cards, bank transfers, PayPal, PayNearMe, and more. Usually, the withdrawal options match those used for deposits or are similar.
Assuming legal sports wagering lands in the Pine Tree State, sports bettors should have access to all typical bet types. These include moneylines, Over/Unders (totals), point spreads, parlays, teasers, futures, live bets, and more.
It’s vital to conduct research to pick out the best lines and claim the top bonuses from any given sportsbook. Once you’ve done that and added funds to your account, it’s time to begin betting. Ensure you are familiar with the conditions of each bet before placing your wager.
It takes time for withdrawals to be processed. The speed at which your winnings will arrive in your bank account will vary from sportsbook to sportsbook and will also depend upon the chosen withdrawal method.
When legal sports betting in Maine becomes a reality, operators will display betting odds via American odds.
Favorites in any matchup are identifiable by a minus sign (-); the number following the value shows the amount of money you need to bet to win $100. In this example, -190 odds mean you need to risk $190 to win $100.
Underdogs are identifiable by a plus sign (+) and highlight the amount you would win if you bet $100. In this scenario, +130 odds means that a $100 wager would return $130 in profit.
You can input your choices to our odds converter to see possible payouts. You can also toggle between American, decimal, and fractional odds.
Those in the Pine Tree State do not presently have access to a locally regulated sportsbook. Should legal sports betting arrive in Maine, wagering on all Olympic, professional, and college sports should be in play.
No state-regulated sportsbook allows bets on political outcomes, and this will hold true in the Pine Tree State.
It is not unreasonable to think that betting lines for celebrity-laden events and awards shows could be made available by Maine sportsbooks. Right now, it’s an unknown.
Eventually, Maine sports wagering legislation may come to include esports. For now, though, esports are off-limits.
College sports should be on the table when legal sports betting comes to fruition in the Pine Tree State. Stipulations in LD 1352 would have made this the case had that bill advanced. Maine bettors will have to stay away from wagering on any in-state collegiate teams, however.
Eliminate any hometown bias by researching your bets. This is a top-tier method to keep you from blindly backing any team or player and consequently hurting your bankroll.
Our how to bet guides contain actionable insights for both new and intermediate bettors.
The Maine Gambling Control Board regulates commercial operations in the state. There are a couple of forms of legal gambling in Maine, including the Maine Lottery and charitable gaming.
Maine is home to two casinos: Oxford Casino in Oxford and Hollywood Casino in Bangor. Wagering on sports at these venues, however, is prohibited.
The only licensed live poker room in Maine exists within Hollywood Casino. As for online poker, the state does not regulate the practice.
There is one harness racetrack in the Pine Tree State: Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway. Both live races and legal pari-mutuel betting can be found here. There are also five off-track betting locations throughout the state, and those who are 18 or older can bet online via the Hollywood Races app or website.
In 2017, Governor Paul LePage had a daily fantasy sports (DFS) bill come across his desk but did not touch it, allowing it to become law via his inaction. Sports fans in the Pine Tree State have access to industry leaders like DraftKings, FanDuel, and Yahoo.
There is limited access to gambling within Maine. Still, many in the Pine Tree State who fall victim to gambling addiction. The Maine Council on Problem Gambling provides support and educational opportunities to raise awareness about problem gambling and promote recovery.Visit the Maine Council on Problem Gambling
If Maine eventually opts for legalized sports betting, it would join these already legalized states:
Here are the states moving toward legal sports betting that may potentially be closest to fabricating their own unique markets:
Since there is no regulated sports betting in Maine, looking to offshore sportsbooks may be tempting. But making a deposit with an unregulated sportsbook instantly puts your money at risk. We highly recommend you steer clear of these websites.
No. After LD 1352 stalled at the state Appropriations Table in July 2021, hopes of legal sports betting were dashed for the year. Maine has attempted multiple times to legalize sports wagering, but hasn't been able to push legislation over the finish line.
At the moment, no. However, the legislation that's been under consideration in the past would have allowed for both retail and online sports wagering in Maine.
Yes. If you are 18 or older you can bet horses online via the Hollywood Races app or website. There are also numerous off-track betting locations throughout the state and two harness racetracks: Scarborough Downs and Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway.
There is no current go-to-market date for legal sports betting in Maine. There is optimism, though, for revisiting the subject in 2022.
Should Maine legalize sports wagering, you will have to be physically located within its borders to make a bet.
The Maine Gambling Control Board regulates all commercial operations in the state.
When it becomes legal, the minimum age to legally bet on sports in Maine will be 21. If you are 18, you can wager on the state lottery.
Right now, there is no legal way to bet on sports in Maine.
Joshua Howe is a commercial content editor at Covers, assisting experts in making smarter sports bettors. Prior to joining the team in 2021, the experienced writer and editor worked in a variety of industries, including sports, marketing, and publishing.