Maine Online Poker Laws

Maine Online Poker Law

There are states like New Jersey that waded into the online poker legalization debate loud like a Jersey Shore cast member into a club, and then there’s Maine, the girl in the low-key plaid shirt and jeans that nonetheless seems ready to party.

While there are no pending bills or any kind of discussion taking place in Maine about legalizing online poker, the cards are falling in a way that makes the future for online poker players here look good. Maine’s online poker fate looks to be attached somewhat to the way Kentucky will go.

Maine is the fresh new home of Oxford Casino, which opened in, well ... Oxford, in 2012. Soon after it opened, Oxford Casino was bought by Churchill Downs, Inc., which is perhaps best known for owning its namesake racetrack where the Kentucky Derby has taken place since 1872.

Churchill Downs Inc. also owns racetracks and slot casinos in Mississippi, Ohio, Kentucky, and now Maine. While both Mississippi and Ohio are the home to dozens of casinos between them, Churchill Downs Inc. is pretty much the only big gaming player in Kentucky and Maine.

Absent a grassroots push from its online poker players, or a sudden, random burst of inspiration in the head of one of its elected officials, Maine’s real hope lies with just how badly Churchill Downs Inc. wants a piece of the multi-billion-dollar online casino and poker industry.

Maine’s significant tourism industry prompted officials to allow a casino to be built. Since the state just recently allowed gambling, it’s very possible online poker legislation could move quickly through, if introduced. This may sound strange, but the sheer size of Maine may help make elected officials more likely to approve online gambling. Maine is huge; it takes forever to drive across Maine. It’s a big state with not a lot of residents. Politicians might be convinced that the residents who live so far away from the state’s only casino have to right to play too, and may be more likely to implement it.

But as it stands in late 2013, there is no movement by any politicians, no push by its residents, and not a peep in the media pushing for online poker.

When Will I Get to Play Online Poker in Maine?

The outlook is hazy. The optimist thinks Churchill Downs Inc. will be successful in helping convince a state representative to get behind online gambling with poker included, or even maybe that the pure vastness of the state puts online poker on the fast track. The pessimist says the wheels of politics and bureaucracy move slowly, and it won’t be until at least 2015 before a study bill is even introduced — so maybe 2016?

What is Maine’s Potential Online Poker Player Market?

Maine only has about 930,000 people over the age of 21, which means the potential online poker population figures to be around 90,000 players. The online poker players in Maine would benefit significantly if Maine decides to contract with other states.

With Churchill Downs, Inc. in play, look for Maine to be a favorite.