Can You Play Online Poker in Maine?
No, you cannot play online poker for real money legally in Maine. The state’s laws prohibit online poker, so no US-based casino site currently offers online poker for Maine residents. The state does offer other gambling opportunities, such as bingo halls, lottery, racing, and a handful of land-based casinos. But as far as Maine online poker is concerned, it remains largely outlawed.
Why Not? What Are the Online Poker Laws in Maine?
Maine’s law does not specifically reference online card games like poker. However, the state’s statutes regarding gambling in general can be applied to online poker. Online poker is treated as gambling under Maine’s laws and has been deemed illegal by the authorities. Consequently, commercial poker rooms are not permitted to operate in the state.
Despite these restrictions, there are a few loopholes in these laws that can be exploited by poker fans and residents in the state. For one, the current legal framework does not seem to apply to players but to companies organizing and promoting these games. This means you will not be prosecuted for merely playing online poker.
This large loophole allows international online poker sites to cater to Maine residents with no legal repercussions. These sites are known as offshore sites. They operate outside the control of US authorities and allow residents in Maine and other parts of the country to register to play online poker for real money.
The biggest benefit of offshore sites also happens to be their biggest drawback. Since these sites operate outside the United States, they’re not subject to federal regulations and standards.
MyPokerCoaching does not recommend playing on offshore sites because there are no guarantees of getting your money back if the site shuts down. The chances of enjoying a fair game are not guaranteed, and there’s a risk of fraudulent activities and data breaches on these platforms with no legal recourse for players living in Maine.
Potential Maine Poker Sites to Launch in the Future
Poker has been popular in Maine for many years, but the state is still to regulate online poker sites. There have been several attempts at it over the years, but so far, none have come to fruition.
It is a pretty safe bet that online poker in ME will be regulated at some point in the future, so the only real question is when. While it’s hard to give any definitive answer at this point in time, we continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated with any important developments.
When online poker is finally legal in ME, there are a few sites that we can expect to go live. These are all operators with a major presence in the regulated US market, and they’ll likely jump at the opportunity to expand their presence.
BetMGM Poker Maine
BetMGM has established itself as a household name in the regulated US online poker space, and the operator will likely be among the first to stake a claim in such an attractive new market.
We expect BetMGM Poker will bring out a platform similar to that in other states like PA, MI, and NJ. A poker client powered by the PartyPoker technology offers a modern and very reliable solution for all online poker fans, even if it is not as rich in functionalities as some other platforms.
In terms of game variety, players can look forward to a nice mix of online tournaments, a wide range of cash game stakes, and, in all likelihood, BetMGM Poker’s staple SPINS – a hugely popular sit & go variation featuring a random jackpot.
It is also likely that BetMGM Poker ME will come out of the gate swinging, offering a generous welcome bonus. With what’s likely to be heavy competition in the state, all sites will look for ways to stand out, and this is generally a good thing for the players.
Although the company couldn’t enter the US before 2016, PokerStars has established itself as a staple name of online poker in the country, just like they have done in the global market.
Once the regulation is finally passed, the launch of PokerStars is pretty much a guarantee. This is especially true if the state passes a law with the expectation of joining the MSIGA, as the operator seems eager to take advantage of opportunities provided by interstate poker.
But even without that particular element, ME is a big enough market on its own.
What PokerStars brings to the table is the operator’s experience in organizing major online series, first and foremost. US versions of ‘COOP events have been hugely successful in all states where the site currently has a presence, and there is no reason to think Maine would be an exception.
PokerStars also offers one of the best software solutions for desktop computers and mobile devices alike. This enhances the player experience and certainly helps push the site towards the top of the list when deciding where to play.
The third ME poker site likely to go live as soon as legal requirements are met is WSOP.com. Right now, WSOP is the only operator present in all regulated US markets with active poker sites, and the company is on the constant lookout for expansion opportunities.
WSOP.com has one trump card that no other operators can match, which is its ability to host bracelet-awarding events and exclusive satellites to live World Series of Poker tournaments. This has helped the operator remain competitive across the country.
A launch in a new state would likely mean an exclusive bracelet series, giving players in the state great opportunities to win some WSOP silverware from the comfort of their home, and if past experience is any indicator, this is an opportunity that players jump on.
WSOP should have no problem claiming its fair share of the new market despite competitors, with the operators’ numbers surging during major live and online events.