Maine Poker / Gambling Laws

Maine Poker Laws

Is Online Poker / Gambling Legal in Maine?

Gambling law in Maine is easy to read and presents clear definitions and regulations, a novelty for American gambling legislation. The Pine Tree State tells you exactly how to play legal games of chance or skill, though unfortunately these very plainly-written laws basically outlaw the kind of gambling you’d find in Nevada or New Jersey. Maine doesn’t have fancy casino-resorts, but they do have relatively friendly home poker game laws and it is generally considered legal to play poker online within state lines. All that adds up to Maine being a somewhat poker-friendly state.

Is Online Gambling or Poker Legal in Maine?

Similar to other state’s positions on online gaming, Maine’s law books lack much language about Internet gambling at all. Federal law appears to be the only restriction for Internet gamblers in Maine. The Internet is not mentioned once in the state’s gambling law, so there’s simply not a crime you can be charged with if you were to get caught playing at an online poker room. Since it is legal to play private poker games, it seems unlikely that playing at an Internet gaming site in the privacy of your home would be illegal. Besides, the state doesn’t have the resources to track or monitor that kind of Internet activity.

Does Maine Have Casinos or Card Rooms? Are They Legal?

Maine is a small and scantily-populated state, and as you might expect from those conditions, there is currently only one casino operating within the state’s borders: Hollywood Slots in the state capitol of Bangor. Poker players won’t find much to do here, since it is not what most people would consider a traditional casino. Hollywood Slots was once a horse racing track, allowing only bets on horse races. Only recently has the track been able to add things beyond the race book.

Hollywood Slots has more than 1,000 video and gaming machines like classic slots, video poker, and even video roulette and other video versions of casino games. But you won’t find anything close to traditional poker play, and no poker room whatsoever.

Learn About Other State Laws

Private Poker Game Laws in Maine

The State of Maine doesn’t have a long or complicated set of gambling laws. The most important part of the state’s gambling law is Section 954 of Maine’s Penal Code, which says “Any person is guilty of unlawful gambling if that person intentionally or knowingly advances or profits from unlawful gambling activity.”
State law as it relates to private poker games makes a person guilty of a crime only if they turn a profit by hosting or providing a private game. That law exists to prevent organized crime running backroom games for profit that take money out of the state’s own gambling revenue. Like other American states, as long as you don’t rake the pot or charge any sort of fee (including fees for food and drink), you are operating a legal private game. If you want to host a legal private game in Maine, you must act as a volunteer, providing your home and any food or drink and gaming accessories free of charge.

Read more about the state of Maine and legal gambling here []