The latest on Maine’s gambling laws for 2024


Last updated on March 20th, 2024 at 01:29 am

The Pine Tree State made significant strides toward legalizing online gambling and betting. In November 2023, online sports betting became legal, opening the doors for other legislatures. Seeing as in June 2019, there was another important milestone reached, with a bill allowing high-stakes bingo, four off-track bettings, one racetrack, and two casinos to be built on native Indian land. Progress is slow but steady, and plenty more could be in store for the players in Maine.

1. Casinos

The success of recently passed laws indicates that the market for players who wish to gamble online exists and that modern times require modern solutions. Currently, gambling is permitted in Main by going to the brick-and-mortar casinos built on native Indian land. The state of Maine has earned approximately $500,000 so far from legalizing online sports betting in less than a month, but the potential is there.

Just as online sports betting got legalized, so too could online gambling become in 2024 and onwards. The alternatives exist in offshore casinos operating outside Maine’s state borders. Following a full guide of the best choices you can make when picking an offshore casino is the best way to find a workaround until changes happen.

2. Lottery

Lottery has a long history in Maine. The first lottery began in 1974, and so far, it brought over $7 billion to the state budget in revenue, given $4.5 billion in prizes, and contributed almost $500 million in commissions. And that is without the online component because the online lottery is not allowed in Maine. However, alternatives exist via a mobile app that any player from Maine can download and join the Reward ME loyalty program.

The app allows players not to miss a game, giving options to players participating in each draw, instantly communicating with the app and other players, redeeming their tokens, and earning various prizes. Each play awards points, which are exchangeable for prizes. The service is currently on a subscription base, but in the future, more services, a freemium model, and a transition to a completely online mode could happen to accommodate more players.

3. Fantasy football

So far in the US, fantasy football has existed in a legal gray area, operating in many states under disputable circumstances. But Maine is one of the states that has fully legalized and made it possible for daily fantasy football (and other sports) to operate. Since 2017, this industry has generated between $4 million and $6 million yearly, showing that legalizing popular online games can be profitable for all parties involved.

In 2024 and onwards operators can focus even further on data security, app improvement, and adding more online games so that current and new players can enjoy high-quality entertainment. Because college and amateur events are exempt from current fantasy sports, we could see an expansion towards that sector.

The latest on Maine’s gambling laws for 2024

4. Horse racing

Another aspect that could expand online in the coming year is horse racing in Maine. Betting on horse races is currently only permitted in person, while harness races are held on two race tracks (Scarborough Downs in Scarborough and Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway), where horse enthusiasts can engage in pari-mutuel wagering. Pari-mutuel means all participants place their bets in a joint pool. The house takes its cut, taxes are calculated, and payoffs for winners are according to odds.

If this sounds too little, you’ll be happy to know that from July to October 2024, nine agricultural fairs will be held, and horse harness racing will happen, so horse racing gamblers have plenty to look forward to. The success of online sports betting could pour over horse racing because the legislation changes have proven fruitful, and the race for the following industry to join is on!

5. Future steps

Expanding options is excellent for the end players, but what are the reasons for a slow implementation? Maine and other states are very cautious and try to treat all parties equally without damaging anyone involved. Allowing online betting in casinos could take away the special treatment that local tribes have because they can operate casinos on their native grounds. But, seeing as the IGRA act is becoming obsolete, and the letter of the law is hard to enforce in our modern times with advancing technologies, local tribes could get a head start and be allowed to operate servers for online gambling.

In a way, this could be following the letter of the law while simultaneously preserving local tribes’ position and expanding the gambling industry in Maine. The two proposed casino bills, LD 1777 and LD 1992, could expand the iGaming industry and gaming terminals run by tribes in Maine. The future is looking bright for Maine and its players. Riding on the wave of success caused by recent legislation in November 2023, anything could happen during 2024. Online sports betting will probably set the groundwork for further expansion in online gambling, making it easier for future chances to occur!

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