Welcome to your ultimate guide for sports betting in the great state of Maine. As the Pine Tree State prepares to enter the exciting world of sports wagering, there are plenty of questions you’ll need answered before you get started.
In this article, we dive into Maine’s sports betting landscape, legal framework, and the exciting opportunities that await passionate fans and bettors. Join us as we navigate the ever-expanding frontier of Maine sports betting, where the love for sports converges with the electrifying world of wagering.
Is Sports Betting Legal in Maine?
In May 2022, Maine Governor Janet Mills signed the state’s sports betting legislation (LD 585) into law. 90 days later, the law went into effect, legalizing online and retail sports betting throughout the state. Anyone who is 21 years or older and physically located within state lines can legally place bets on both professional and college sporting events, with the exception being any matchups involving in-state college programs.
There are 10 retail sports betting licenses available in the Pine Tree State, and state law allows casinos, racetracks, and off-track betting parlors to apply for licensing. It is expected that Maine’s two casinos, Hollywood Casino Bangor and Oxford Casino, will house the state’s first retail sportsbooks. In addition, each of Maine’s four federally-recognized Native American tribes (Maliseets, Mi’kmaqs, Penobscots, and Passamaquoddy) can partner with mobile sportsbooks to offer online betting.
Despite sports betting being legalized across Maine in August 2022, an official launch date has not yet been set. There are currently no online or in-person sportsbooks operating in Maine, and sports fans from Portland, Lewiston, and many other cities anxiously await the arrival of sports betting in their home state.
When Will Maine Sports Betting Launch?
Although no official date has been set, it is widely expected that Maine sports betting will launch in early 2024. The lengthy delay has been the result of a number of different factors. For instance, the Maine Gambling Control Unit is still in the process of developing the state’s sports betting rules and regulations related to advertising, safe gambling practices, and other important aspects.
In addition, there were initial concerns about a lack of interest from online sportsbooks, largely due to concerns involving the state’s revenue-sharing model and uncertainties regarding the way in which they will be regulated.
However, a deal between Caesars Sportsbook and three of the state’s four tribes was announced in May 2023, which is seen by many as a good sign of things to come. As a result, Caesars is expected to be the first mobile sportsbook to enter the Pine Tree State.
How Can I Bet on Sports in Maine?
While you’re waiting for sports betting to officially launch in Maine, there are a few other options currently available to sports betting enthusiasts across the state. Listed and explained below are a few potential alternatives to consider.
Visit Neighboring States
Many of Maine’s New England neighbors (e.g., Massachusetts, New Hampshire, and Connecticut) have already legalized and launched sports betting within their borders. Maine residents will always have the option to visit nearby states to place wagers on all their favorite players, teams, and leagues. Both online and retail sports betting options are provided in Maine’s neighboring states.
Daily Fantasy Sports
Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) is a popular alternative for Maine bettors who enjoy the thrill of competition and strategic decision-making. Participants create virtual teams composed of real players from various sports leagues, such as football, basketball, baseball, or hockey. The performance of these players in real-life games determines the success of your fantasy team.
Maine bettors can engage in DFS contests through platforms like DraftKings or FanDuel, where they compete against other players for cash prizes based on the statistical performance of their chosen players. Underdog Fantasy is another top-tier option for DFS players across the state.
While many consider horse racing to be a sport, it is not subject to the same laws and regulations as basketball, football, baseball, soccer, etc. As a result, betting on horse racing is legal in Maine and widely available across the U.S.
Horse racing has a long-standing tradition in Maine and offers an exciting avenue for bettors. The state is home to several racetracks, such as Bangor Raceway, that host live horse racing events.
Maine bettors can place wagers on these races, predicting the outcome of individual races or participating in multi-race bets like exactas, trifectas, or pick-3s. Additionally, off-track betting facilities are available in Maine, allowing bettors to wager on races taking place at other tracks across the country.
While Maine does not currently have regulated online sports betting, some bettors may choose to explore offshore sportsbooks. These are online sports betting platforms that operate from outside the United States and accept bets from US customers. Maine bettors can access these offshore sportsbooks and place bets on a wide range of sports and events.
However, it is important to mention that there are certain risks associated with offshore sportsbooks. These platforms are not subject to the same regulations and oversight as legal and licensed sportsbooks within the country. This lack of regulation raises concerns about the fairness of the betting process, the security of personal and financial information, and the reliability of payout systems.
What Are The Best Maine Sportsbooks & Betting Sites
There are no online or retail sportsbooks currently operating within the Pine Tree State. However, it is expected that Maine sports betting will launch in early 2024. Here are a few of the possible platforms we can expect to become available in the near future:
As previously mentioned, Caesars Sportsbook announced its exclusive partnership with the Maliseets, Mi’kmaqs, and Penobscots in May 2023, allowing the industry giant to launch its online sportsbook in Maine. It is not yet available but is expected to be the first sportsbook to go live in the state.
Caesars Sportsbook is one of the most reliable and trustworthy names in the industry, and it provides a top-tier customer rewards program, competitive odds, and excellent customer service to all users. In addition, the betting site offers daily odds boosts on a wide variety of sports and leagues to enhance your overall betting experience.
Another potential candidate to enter the Maine sports betting market is DraftKings Sportsbook. With a user-friendly platform and a great selection of alternative lines and totals, DraftKings has established itself as one of the top sportsbooks in the United States. Customers will also enjoy frequent promotions and bonus opportunities, including but not limited to odds surges, profit boosts, and same-game parlay insurance.
BetMGM is one of the most popular options among American sports bettors. It provides substantial first-bet insurance to all new users and covers an impressive range of sports and leagues from all over the world. Furthermore, BetMGM Sportsbook offers arguably the best live betting experience among U.S. sportsbooks, as live streaming and a wide range of betting markets are available to customers.
Last but not least, FanDuel Sportsbook would be an excellent addition to the Maine sports betting market. They have the best mobile app in the industry and provide an unmatched selection of bet types, prop markets, and alternative lines.
However, it is important to mention that there have been reports that FanDuel and other top U.S. sportsbooks (e.g., BetMGM and DraftKings) do not plan to apply for Maine sports betting licenses as a result of what they believe to be an uneven revenue-sharing model with the state’s tribes. That said, it is not impossible for circumstances to change or new terms to be negotiated.
Where Can I Bet On Sports In Maine
As briefly mentioned earlier, Maine residents have the opportunity to visit neighboring states to place bets. A few of the nearby states and locations in which sports betting is available are discussed below.
In New Hampshire, sports betting was legalized in 2019 and is currently available both online and at retail locations. Bettors will be limited to a single sports betting platform, as DraftKings enjoys a monopoly over legal sports betting in the state. However, New Hampshire’s proximity to Maine makes it an accessible option for residents in the southern part of the state.
Massachusetts launched online and retail sports betting in early 2023, meaning Maine residents can visit the Bay State anytime and place wagers on all their favorite players, teams, and leagues. There are more than half a dozen mobile sportsbooks available in Massachusetts; therefore, sports betting freedom is only a short drive away for Maine residents.
Sports betting became legal in Rhode Island in November 2018, and anyone who is 18 years or older and physically located in the state can place bets online using the state-lottery-run Sportsbook RI. Additionally, you can place in-person bets at Bally’s Twin River Casino or Bally’s Tiverton Casino & Hotel.
Connecticut sports betting went live in late 2021, and Maine bettors can visit and place online wagers with FanDuel, DraftKings, or PlaySugarHouse Sportsbook. In addition, retail sports betting is available in the Constitution State at Foxwoods Resort and Casino and Mohegan Sun Casino.
If you’re willing to make the drive, New York is arguably the best option for Maine sports betting enthusiasts. Sports betting launched in the Empire State in January 2022, and retail sports betting options are available in Buffalo, Syracuse, and several other cities across the state. In addition, the following nine online sportsbooks are available: BetMGM, FanDuel, DraftKings, BetRivers, Caesars, PointsBet, WynnBET, Resorts World Bet, and Bally Bet.
Maine also borders two Canadian provinces, Quebec and New Brunswick, each of which allows online and retail sports betting. As a result, dedicated bettors in Maine may choose to cross the U.S.-Canada border and place wagers internationally.
How To Sign Up & Start Betting
Once sports betting launches in the state of Maine, you can use the following steps to sign up and start placing bets!
- Choose Your Sportsbook: Research and select a reputable and licensed sportsbook that operates in Maine. Consider factors such as user experience, available sports and markets, and customer support. Choose a sportsbook that aligns with your preferences and offers a safe and secure betting environment.
- Register for an Account: Begin the sign-up process. Enter all requested personal information, choose a username and password, and agree to the site’s Terms & Conditions to finish registering for an account.
- Verify Your Information: To comply with legal regulations and ensure the security of your account, the sportsbook may require you to verify your identity and age. This process often involves submitting a copy of your identification document, such as a driver’s license or passport, and proof of address, such as a utility bill or bank statement.
- Make Your First Deposit: Use any of the convenient, reliable payment options accepted by your sportsbook (e.g., credit/debit cards, bank transfers, e-wallets, or prepaid cards) to make your first deposit and add funds to your online betting account.
- Claim Your Welcome Offer: Many sportsbooks provide welcome offers or bonuses to new customers. Before claiming any offer, carefully read the terms and conditions, including any wagering requirements or time limits. Follow the instructions provided to claim the offer, such as entering a promo code or opting in during the deposit process.
- Start Placing Bets: Begin placing bets on all your favorite players, teams, and leagues. Good luck!
Popular Maine Sports & Teams
While there are no major league sports teams based in the state, Maine boasts a vibrant sports culture, with several popular teams that capture the hearts of its residents. Some of the most beloved universities and franchises in the Pine Tree State are discussed below.
Maine Black Bears
The Maine Black Bears are the athletic teams representing the University of Maine in Orono. Competing in NCAA Division I, the Black Bears participate in various sports, including football, basketball, ice hockey, baseball, softball, and soccer. They have a dedicated fan base that passionately supports their endeavors and takes pride in their successes at the collegiate level.
However, it is important to note that bettors will not be able to place wagers on any events involving the University of Maine Black Bears, in accordance with Maine sports betting rules and regulations that were created to maintain the integrity of college sports.
New England Patriots
A renowned professional football team based in Foxborough, Massachusetts, the New England Patriots have a massive following in the state of Maine due to their regional proximity. With a rich history of success, including six Super Bowl wins, the Patriots have captivated football fans throughout Maine who avidly cheer for the team during the NFL season.
The Boston Celtics are a storied professional basketball team and a member of the National Basketball Association (NBA). While based in Boston, Massachusetts, the Celtics have a substantial fan base in Maine. Known for their tradition of excellence and championship pedigree, the Celtics inspire loyalty and enthusiasm among basketball enthusiasts throughout the state.
Boston Red Sox
The Boston Red Sox are a cherished Major League Baseball (MLB) team, captivating fans across New England, including Maine. Based in Boston, Massachusetts, the Red Sox are a historic franchise and have a passionate following all over the U.S. The team’s successes have solidified their place in the hearts of Maine residents who embrace the excitement of America’s pastime.
Tips & Tricks for Maine Sports Bettors
While there is no foolproof method that guarantees you’ll win big in the world of sports betting, there are plenty of common strategies and general guidelines to follow to increase your chances of success. Here are some helpful tips and pieces of advice:
- Do Your Research: Engage in thorough research and analysis before making your betting decisions. Consider factors such as team form, injury reports, head-to-head records, and home-field advantage. Utilize statistics, trends, and expert analysis to inform your betting choices. The more informed you are, the better equipped you’ll be to make successful bets.
- Avoid Emotional Betting & Chasing Your Losses: Emotions can influence betting decisions, leading to impulsive and irrational choices. Avoid chasing losses by betting larger amounts to recoup previous losses. Stick to your predetermined strategy and avoid making emotional bets based on personal biases or frustrations. Keep a level head and approach each bet objectively.
- Utilize Bonuses & Promotions: Take advantage of bonuses and promotions offered by sportsbooks. These can include welcome bonuses, free bets, enhanced odds, or loyalty programs. Carefully read the terms and conditions associated with these offers and use them strategically to boost your bankroll or mitigate risks.
- Shop for the Best Odds: Sign up for accounts with multiple sportsbooks to give yourself an opportunity to shop around for the best odds on any wager you plan to make.
- Join Betting Communities and Forums: Engage with other sports bettors by joining online betting communities or forums. These platforms offer opportunities to share insights, discuss strategies, and exchange information with like-minded individuals. Learning from experienced bettors and participating in discussions can enhance your knowledge and help you refine your betting approach.
Maine Sports Betting FAQ
Yes, sports betting became legal in Maine in August 2022. However, there are no mobile or retail sportsbooks currently operating within the state.
The legal betting age in the state of Maine is 21 years old.
Yes, you can bet on college sports in Maine. However, wagers on in-state teams are strictly prohibited.
Caesars Sportsbook has already partnered with three of the state’s Native American tribes to launch its online sportsbook once sports betting goes live in Maine. DraftKings, FanDuel, BetRivers, and BetMGM are a few other candidates who may apply for a Main sports betting license.
Yes, mobile sports betting is legal in the state of Maine. However, sports betting has yet to launch in the state, meaning no mobile sportsbooks are currently available.