This is our quick Portland (ME) online sports betting options overview. Check the gambling sites, legal sportsbooks, mobile apps. Find out more about best Portland area casino, racetracks and sports betting destinations like Oxford Casino.
Portland Sports Betting Guide
Portland, Maine, is a somewhat quiet city when it comes to gambling, and gambling laws in particular. Residents here can enjoy 2 licensed casinos, gambling on harness racing, high stakes bingo, and also a lottery. Greyhound racing is, however, strictly illegal.
Although harness racing is not every Portland resident’s sport of choice, the superb tracks with accompanying restaurants and pari-mutuel wagering have been part of the gambling scene there since the 1950’s. More recently the nearby Scarborough Downs racetrack added slot machines to their portfolio to give gamblers another option.
1974 saw the start of the Maine lottery in Portland, which is still running strong now. Also inter-state games, including New England specific games have since been added. 1988 saw the Indian Regulatory Gambling Act build ‘High Stakes Bingo Casinos’ on the land of 2 tribes. In 2014 these tribes started lobbying for them to change into full casinos.
Portland sports betting legislation has a wide definition. In Maine, the important part is that a ‘contest of chance’ is the aspect that is prohibited, though there is inclusion for an ‘element of skill’, which makes it broad enough to cover games like poker.
The main definition of gambling is as follows:
“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.” (Chapter 39: Unlawful Gambling – 952).
In 2019, the State Legislature introduced SB 553, to ensure proper oversight of sports betting in the state. This may enjoy some success in 2020, but it's still too early to tell whether SB 553 has a future.