Check out our list of the very best online casino sites that are available in Maine below. You can also find the best Maine online sportsbooks here.
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While it may not be the world’s gambling capital, Maine has a rich gambling history that spans back to the 1930s. So if you’re looking to find the best online casinos in Maine for you, look no further. We’ve delved into the history of gambling and how it influenced modern, online operations in Maine. This article also looked at what is required from the best Maine online casinos.
Important US Gambling Laws
While each state of the US is self-governed and makes its laws, they still need to follow federal law, which applies to the whole country. There are two federal laws today that restrict gambling in the USA, making it difficult for many US-based casinos to operate. A third law, the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 illegalized sports betting entirely. This law, however, became null and void in 2018, and states are now free to make their own decision on regulating sports betting.
The Federal Interstate Wire Act in 1961 stated that any sports betting between states is illegal. It allows no wire communication or transmissions regarding sports wagering. This refers to phones and telegrams and any form of online sports betting. It was, however, the subject of contention, and the law does not currently include any other forms of gambling.
The second federal law, which has the most significant impact on online gambling, is the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006. This law effectively stopped most US-based online casinos and caused many offshore casinos to ban US players. UIGEA states that it is illegal for online gambling service providers to make or accept any financial transactions.
In response to this law, many casinos in the US had shut down or converted to become social casinos. At social casinos, players can not bet real money. There are currently only seven states that can legally offer online gaming licenses. They are Connecticut, Nevada, Delaware, New Jersey, Michigan, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. Nevada, however, has heavy restrictions on its online gaming ability. But what does this mean for Maine?
Online Gaming in Maine
Knowing about the federal laws, one has to wonder how it influences online gaming options in Maine. Looking at the gambling history of Maine, you can see that it has a colorful history with land-based casinos. In 1935, pari-mutuel betting was legalized at racetracks, starting the state’s history with regulated gambling. This was followed by the state lottery being introduced in 1973, which is still considered one of Maine’s most prominent gambling forms. At this time, slot machines and proper land-based casinos were still not legal, and it would only be in 2004 that the first slot machine was installed.
This was a big step for Maine as it opened the door to more possible gaming avenues. This allowed for the first land-based casino to be established in 2008, offering slots and, later on, table games. This development paved the way for another casino to open in 2009, but no other land-based casinos were established after that. In 2017, a year before PASPA was declared unconstitutional, Maine introduced Daily Fantasy Sports into the mix. They were the 15th state who introduced Daily Fantasy Sports, which quickly became a massive market in Maine.
In 2020, Maine made the first move to try and legalize online gambling. Although the bill was eventually denied, it was a close call, and it seemed like Maine wasn’t as against online gambling as other states. The Senate in Maine states that they were waiting to see how their surrounding states handled online gaming and its legality. Many believe that Maine might legalize online gaming as early as 2023, but that remains to be seen.
The bill to legalize online casinos was vetoed, but that doesn’t mean there are no online gambling options. It just means the state isn’t allowed to offer online gambling. Offshore casinos are still available for many players in Maine.
Since legalizing what forms of gambling it has, Maine has achieved quite a low gambling revenue compared to other states that regulate gambling. Their two land-based casinos generated $49.76million in 2020, with the state lottery generating $300million each year and the slots at racinos generating over $60million a year. The legal age of gambling in Maine is 21, but a player only needs to be 18 to make pari-mutuel bets or participate in Bingo and the state lottery.
Criteria for the Best Maine Online Casinos
Playing at an online casino is not as easy as just opening your browser, searching online casinos, and clicking on one. If not careful, it’s easy to start playing at an untrustworthy casino. That’s why we set out several criteria that the best online casinos should meet. We have used this ourselves when it comes to the above list of the best Maine online casinos and includes all of the features features.
Security and Licensing
For any online casino to be worth playing at, they need to be licensed. There are some unlicensed casinos available, but we recommend you avoid these, as there’s no assurance of player protection. If a casino doesn’t carry a license or refuses to divulge its license, it’s not worth the risk, in our opinion. There are many top casinos available that are licensed, so why run the risk? The next step is to see who licenses the casino, as this is also the regulating body that ensures the casino follows all regulations and is compliant with gaming laws.
Several offshore casino licenses are available from regulators like the United Kingdom Gambling Commission, Gibraltar Gambling Commission, Curacao eGaming, Malta Gaming Authority, and the Kahnawake, Panama, and Costa Rica authoritative bodies. Several other countries also offer gaming licenses, like the Swedish Gambling Authority, but these don’t appear as frequently at online casinos available in Maine.
Other elements in a casino can make them more secure. If a casino uses SSL encryption, it’s always a good sign. Combine that with using a testing agency like GLI or NMi to ensure their games are fair to find the best secure online casino. A casino that uses a comprehensive KYC policy is also better, as you know, they take player protection seriously and ensure they know their players before allowing withdrawals.
The critical thing about compatibility is not just that the online casino is available on all platforms, though that is important, but how you experience the website. Online casinos should use HTML5 to ensure a well-designed interface that is easy to navigate, runs smoothly, and loads the pages and games fast. This means players need access to navigation bars, website banners, search tabs, game filters, a header, and a footer. This allows you to navigate the site easily and not need to contact support when searching for something.
Of course, should a casino offer an app for iOS and Android users, that would be best, but many casinos don’t need one as their mobile site is designed perfectly for online gaming. These days, whether accessing the online casino on your phone, tablet, or desktop, you can expect an equally good experience. This makes gaming on the go easier. It’s also best if the casino offers no registration to play, which means a player can test demo games at the casino first without needing to register. This allows you to get a feel for the casino.
The customer support service is important for all online casinos. Are they fast and responsive? Are they helpful and kind? Are they available through phone, live chat, or email on a 24/7, 365 basis? Do they offer complaint submission? These are some critical questions to ask, as they can influence your gaming experience.
Having customer support available 24/7 is crucial, as Maine players will be playing at international casinos, and time differences might come into play if there are working hours. The best option is to access a live chat, as that’s generally the fastest way to contact support. Having access to a complaint submission form, independent from the standard complaints procedure of the casino, allows you to contact the regulating body if you have to report the casino.
Banking becomes the next step to consider when deciding to play at a real money casino over a social casino. Most offshore casinos offer various banking methods, from cards and e-wallets to cryptocurrency and online banking. Players in Maine need to ascertain which options are available, as not all banking methods are offered in all states. The most popular methods offered are Neteller, Skrill, EcoPayz, Visa, Mastercard, online banking (ACH), Trustly, and Bitcoin.
However, with card companies and banks often refusing any transaction with an online gambling provider, players in Maine need another option when paying. Some casinos accept PayPal, which is always a good option for any US player.
If you’re looking to play at one casino and one casino only, it’s best to find an online platform that offers a large variety of games. This means that no matter your taste of the day, you’ll have something to play. Slots, table games, live casino games, jackpots, fantasy sports, and sports betting are all game types that should be available. Live games include live dealer Baccarat, Blackjack, and Poker games and several versions of Roulette, Craps, and game shows.
The best online casinos also offer demos of their games, with the apparent exception of live dealer games or sports betting. This allows you to get a feel for a new game before committing to it and is an excellent way for new players to ease themselves into online gaming.
Casino bonuses are a largely unique feature of online casinos. With so many different online casinos available, they offer bonuses to players that encourage registration with them rather than their competitors. This can range from deposit match bonuses and free spins to no deposit bonuses. Depending on why you’re looking to play at a casino, the best bonus might be different for you than for someone else. There are welcome bonuses where you receive between 100% and 500% bonus cash upon making your first or first few deposits. For example, if you deposit $10 and receive a 150% bonus, you’ll receive $15 and play with $25 altogether.
There are also no deposit bonuses where you receive bonus cash or free spins upon signing up. Both are good to use when testing out the games and can even afford you a nice little payout when starting up. These welcome bonuses often have heavier restrictions to protect the casino’s interest. These restrictions can range from wagering requirements between 1x and 50x, validity periods between 24 hours and seven days, capped winnings, and minimum deposits.
The best online casinos will also offer other daily, weekly, and monthly bonuses throughout the year. VIP programs, cashback, tournaments, and more should all be available.
Choose Your Maine Online Casino
Using the above criteria, we have presented you with the very best online casinos in Maine. There are many good options, so it’s essential to consider what you’re looking for in a casino at the end of the day. While Maine doesn’t allow online casinos to be based in the state, that doesn’t mean that Maine players are left without any options.
While the state recommends against playing at offshore casinos simply for the security of the players, there are many trustworthy options available. Our best online casinos in Maine will all comply with the above criteria and strive to offer you the best experience possible. With the online gambling bill in 2020 almost passing, we can also hope that Maine will legalize online gambling in the not too distant future, opening up even more options for players in Maine. In the meantime, you can feel free to have a look at the many top offshore casinos and pick the best Maine online casino for you.
Can I get in trouble for online gambling in Maine?
No, as there is no law against online gambling for players.
Are online casinos legal in Maine?
While it isn’t legal for online casinos to be based in Maine, there are no restrictions against offshore online casinos.
Can I play for real money at a US online casino in Maine?
No, any US online casinos available to players in Maine will be a social casino that doesn’t allow real money wagering. However, you can play for real money in Maine at offshore online casinos.