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Maine Poker Laws: Everything You Need to Know

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Maine has long been a stronghold for poker players in New England, and the game is enjoyed by people of all ages and walks of life. But what are the laws surrounding poker in Maine? Are Maine poker sites legal?

Whether you’re a seasoned pro or starting out, it’s important to know the rules before you start playing. In this article, we’ll take a look at the legal status of poker in Maine and provide an overview of the relevant laws.

So whether you’re planning on playing at a live casino or online, you’ll know exactly what’s legal and what isn’t. Read on to learn more!

Where to Play Online Poker in Maine

Maine is an excellent state for poker lovers. Maine poker laws are very player-friendly, and there are plenty of opportunities to play online poker. Maine online poker laws allow players to play on any licensed Maine online poker site. Maine also has a wide variety of live poker rooms, which offer tournaments and cash games.

Some great online poker sites cater specifically to Maine players. So whatever your game, you’re sure to find a place to play online poker in Maine that suits your needs.

BetOnline Poker

Bonus Offer: 100% up to $1000
Available Countries
Accepts US players
More Info
Available Games
  • Poker
  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Live Dealer
  • Baccarat
Payment Methods
Features
  • Great gaming library
  • Numerous tournaments
  • Hefty welcome bonus
  • Additional bonuses for crypto users

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Available Countries
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Available Games
  • Poker
  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Live Dealer
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  • Host of cash games and tournaments
  • Great welcome bonus
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Is Online Gambling Illegal in Maine?

Maine is one of the few states in the United States with specific laws regarding online gambling. Maine’s gambling laws are relatively permissive and allow for a wide range of gambling activities, including online poker.

However, Maine’s online poker laws are somewhat confusing, and it is not entirely clear whether or not online poker is legal in the state.

The Maine Poker Act of 2011 expressly permits “skill games” such as poker, but it is unclear if this applies to online poker. Moreover, the Maine Gambling Control Board has not issued any regulations governing online poker. As a result, the legal status of online poker in Maine remains somewhat uncertain. Nevertheless, several reputable online poker sites accept players from Maine, and it is generally safe to play online poker in the state.

Maine Poker and Gambling Laws

maine law books

Maine is one of the few states in the US with apparent laws regarding poker and gambling. Maine poker laws are clear about what types of gambling are illegal and what types are not.

The state of Maine has no specific law against online poker. However, it is essential to note that online poker is not specifically legal in Maine either. This means that while you will not be breaking any state laws by playing online poker, you will not have any protection from the state if you run into any problems with an online poker site.

For this reason, it is always recommended that you research any online poker site before playing to ensure that they are reputable and have a good history.

Maine Gambling Laws

Let’s take a deeper look at the definition of gambling in Maine:

“A person engages in gambling if he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.

Gambling does not include bona fide business transactions valid under the law of contracts, including but not limited to contracts for the purchase or sale at a future date of securities or commodities, and agreements to compensate for loss caused by the happening of chance, including but not limited to contracts of indemnity or guaranty and life, health or accident insurance.” (1)

As far as this applying to poker goes, as is generally the case, it is dependant on how “contest of chance” is defined. If contest of chance is primarily defined as a true matter of chance, then it may come down to whether poker is seen as essentially a game of chance or whether the element of skill that is involved in the game is enough to sufficiently distinguish it to have it fall outside this definition, or at least have its falling within it cast into enough doubt as to have the courts decide it may not be, which is enough.

The reason why you see legislators strive for as much clarity as possible in the law is to exclude any such doubt, as where there is doubt, since the burden is on the law to be clear, when it isn’t then it is generally found to not apply.

So let’s look at how Maine defines contests of chance, to see if poker playing is a game of chance in this state:

“Contest of chance” means any game, contest, scheme or device in which:

  1. A person stakes or risks something of value for the opportunity to win something of value;
  2. The rules of operation or play require an event the result of which is determined by chance, outside the control of the contestant or participant; and
  3. Chance enters as an element that influences the outcome in a manner that can not be eliminated through the application of skill. (2)

Short History of Gambling in Maine

Gambling has been a part of Maine’s history since the early 1800s. Horse racing was popular in the state, and lotteries were used to raise funds for public projects.

  • In 1851, the Maine Legislature passed a law outlawing all forms of gambling. However, this law was not enforced, and gambling continued to be popular.
  • Finally, in the early 1900s, Maine began to crack down on gambling, and by 1931 all forms of gambling were again illegal. Again, however, enforcement was lax, and gambling continued to thrive in Maine.
  • In the 1970s, Maine became one of the first states to legalize video poker, and today there are nearly 1,000 locations where video poker machines can be found. Maine also has a state-run lottery, which offers games such as Powerball and Mega Millions.

As a result, gambling is now a big part of Maine’s economy, showing no signs of slowing down.

The Future of Gambling in Maine

Maine has a long history of gambling, dating back to the state’s early days as a hub for the Northeast’s fishing and lumber industries. However, Maine has never been a particularly hospitable place for gambling due to its strict laws.

For example, Maine is one of only a handful of states that does not allow casinos. As a result, Maine residents have had to look elsewhere if they want to gamble.

That may be about to change, however. In recent years, Maine has begun to relax its laws regarding gambling, and there are now several casinos in operation. Maine has also passed laws legalizing online poker, meaning that residents can now play their favorite game from the comfort of their homes.

It is clear that Maine is becoming more welcoming to gambling, and this trend will likely continue in the future.

With its newly relaxed attitude towards gambling, Maine is poised to become a significant player in the industry. However, only time will tell what the future holds for gambling in Maine.

Final Thoughts

That said, there is no specific law against playing poker online in Maine. So if you’re looking to play some cards on the internet, your best bet is to check out our list of recommended sites – they all offer a great experience and plenty of options for players from Pine Tree State.

And remember, always gamble responsibly. Thanks for reading and good luck at the tables!

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Online Poker Legal in Maine? No, online poker is not specifically legal in Maine. However, the laws are only directed at operators of online gambling sites. Therefore, players are not breaking any rules by playing online poker.
Where Can I Play Live Poker in Maine? If you’re looking to play live poker in Maine, you’re in luck. There are plenty of options available to you. Just be sure to do your research before settling on a particular casino or racetrack. Our recommended Maine poker sites will provide you with a safe and secure place to play and various games and stakes to choose from. So, why not check them out today?
I Want to Gamble Online, but I’m Not Sure if It’s Legal. What Should I Do? If you’re unsure about the legality of online gambling in your state, we recommend you consult an attorney. However, you should be fine if you play at an offshore site that accepts Maine players. Just remember to gamble responsibly.

About the Author

Sadonna Price
Author Sadonna is a mom of two and an avid poker player who also enjoys online casino games. She has been part of the online gambling industry for over a decade, working as a news and blog writer. Sadonna still plays Texas hold’em in her free time while her daily job revolves around providing insights into the online gambling world using her creativity and writing skills.
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