Maine is one of those oft-forgotten states that seems to be more of a mystery than anything else to a lot of folks. Apart from moose and lobsters, people are not all that knowledgeable with regard to what goes on in Maine and how its history was shaped. This is something that is especially true when talking about gambling in the state. In fact, there are plenty of Maine residents who are still unclear as to the exact casino laws in the state.
To be fair, Maine’s casino history is not very rich at all. The state made it a long time without ever really bringing the issue up front and center, but in recent years that is something that has changed. In total, Maine has only 2 casinos that residents and visitors can gamble at. Though this may not seem like much, you must consider the fact that Maine is ranked 42nd out of 50 states with regard to population. As such, having 8 or 10 casinos is something that would undoubtedly prove to be more wasteful than anything else.
Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway
Maine Land-Based Casinos
Being that there are only 2 casinos in the entire state, it should not come as much of a surprise that they are both of the same variety. Land-based casinos in Maine are those that are licensed and regulated by the state. These casinos come complete with slot games, video poker, and all the table games one might expect to find at a casino. In addition to this, both of Maine’s casinos have hotels and other amenitie, such as restaurants and shopping. Though comparatively smaller than what you might find on the Las Vegas Strip, Maine’s casinos are able to offer you the full casino experience.
Maine Casino History
As far as Maine’s casino and gambling history is concerned, one need not look back much further than the 1950s. Around this time, harness racing and the pari-mutuel wagering that came along with it was all the rage in Maine. According to many experts, Maine’s harness racetracks were amongst the best in the nation, and so too was the betting that took place there. Despite other states slowly but surely having largescale casinos accompany most of their racetracks, Maine did not budge and really seemed uninterested in pursuing the expansion of the gambling industry in the state.
By the 1970’s Maine joined the revolution that was sweeping across the nation and finally added a statewide lottery. Shortly thereafter, and mostly due to the incredibly popularity of the state lottery, Maine moved to join other New England states in establishing lotteries that stretched across state borders; something that would undoubtedly increase the prize monies won and revenue generated for the state simultaneously.
Thanks to the passing of the 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, two Native American tribes were able to offer bingo games on tribal land. For quite some time, the Native American bingo halls were the only real gambling one could do that did not involve betting on horse and dog races.
In 2010, however, Maine saw a statewide referendum pass that paved the way for the opening of the state’s only two land-based casinos. To this day, the casinos that came as an immediate result of the 2010 referendum are the only two you will find in the state.
Maine does have particularly relaxed laws with regard to social gaming. Games between friends are wholly legal so long as there is no one raking in a profit of any type. That means poker games and other forms of social gambling are able to be played openly and freely all over the state. This is something you will seldom find elsewhere, as states are fairly restrictive when it comes to unregulated gambling.