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Online Casinos in Maine (US)

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While there is no law that outright criminalizes people accessing online casino sites from Maine, a site is unable to claim legitimate operation within the state. There is currently nobody that is authorized to distribute licenses for internet-based games of chance, so any site you come across is operating from an outside jurisdiction. While it is very much possible to therefore come across untrustworthy sites, most online casinos are actually fully licensed by an authority based in overseas territories. Becoming familiar with legitimate sites and what they are able to offer is important for anybody looking to play from an unregulated territory.

  • Is the casino fully licensed?
  • Is the licensing body well regarded?
  • Can players from Maine register?
  • Are your preferred payment methods accepted?
  • Will you be eligible for any promotions or loyalty programs?

Creating your own checklist of questions is a great way to create tangible standards for yourself, which can be used to ensuring you get the best value with minimal risk. At GoodLuckMate we provide concise articles and reviews that you can use to help make the whole process that much simpler.

Gambling Regulation

While there are several forms of land-based gambling activities available for Maine residents, moving the activity to the web changes things a lot. Fantasy Sports is the primary activity that is legal, however, there have been recent advances to allow for all types of sports betting. A bill almost passed the state legislature, however, this was eventually vetoed by Governor Janet Mills. While there were attempts made to nullify the veto, it was eventually legitimized putting a halt to any progress. Further attempts are now being made to pass a similar bill in 2021, although it remains to be seen if this will be actually going through successfully. If it should pass, it is then hoped that this will add serious pressure to legalize all forms of online gambling. As there is currently not much evidence that the state’s lawmakers have taken much interest in online casinos, the success of a sports betting bill is the only area where there is a potential for progress.

Localized Online Casinos

Despite the lack of legalities for casinos to operate in Maine, it is still very much possible for residents to access various overseas sites. Many of these sites were already built up with capabilities that lend themself well to US localization. US dollars and common payment options are already a standard at the majority of sites and English language options, US sporting events and other cultural influences are already defaults in the industry. This was only expanded upon when states like New Jersey recently created a regulated market. It will be unlikely to find any sites or features that are specifically catered for the people of Maine, but there will be countless establishments that are set up in a very US-friendly manner.

Gambling with US Dollars

As mentioned with regards to localization, US dollars are incredibly common at online casinos regardless of where they are set up. The currency provides a good default option to offer players whose currency can not be supported, which is why sites have already had the currency built into their platforms way before some of the US states began opening up the market. This means that there are also several payment methods available that accept dollars, like payment cards and e-wallets. Cryptocurrencies have also become very popular with players over the past couple of year, as it provides a good alternative to making payments online without having to involve your bank. E-wallets also facilitate this and give you a separate wallet that you can use to differentiate your playable funds from your non-playable funds.

Casinos in Maine

There are two land-based casinos in the state of Maine, those being the Oxford Casino and the Hollywood Casino Bangor. There are also other various gambling venues that offer social casino activities where players can play casino games without risking real money funds. State-run lotteries have also been around since the 1970s, which is sort of where a lot of the gambling legislation has found itself in. Without any of the progress seen at other states who have regulated their online markets, Maine players will be left at a disadvantage and disservice, especially as online casinos are still very much accessible. There is a lot resting on the sports betting legislation being updated in 2021, but it will still be a long process regardless of the outcome for all forms of gambling. This will allow the state to create and fund various social support programs, as well as take advantage of other tax benefits.


Dispute resolution – can I get help from a third party?


A gambling license is intended to protect players, and one of its main functions is to provide a mechanism for resolving disputes when they come up. If you have a dispute with a casino, and the casino is being unreasonable, the gambling authority will help you. For many licenses, this means you can contact the gambling authority to get help processing your withdrawals, claiming money the casino has debited from your account, or resolving other disputes that might arise. The likelihood that the gambling authority will help you in ways that are effective, however, depends on the procedures they have in place for this. This is yet another reason why choosing to play at a casino that has a safe license is important.

Getting help directly from the gambling authority is not always necessary, or even an option. A lot of regulators have now enforced third-party dispute resolution. This means casinos must have an agreement with an arbitrator who will look into disputes on the behalf of players from a particular casino. This ensures your dispute will be reviewed by an objective third party. All trusted online casinos have information about arbitration on their websites if they use this option, or they’ll have the contact information for the gambling authority you should consult. However, you should always try to resolve your issues with the casino first, and a lot of casinos have separate email addresses specifically for handling complaints.


Secure payments – can I trust a casino with my money?


If you’re worried about the security of the transactions you’re making at a casino, you should look for a logo with the acronym PCI DSS. This stands for Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard, and this is something the payment industry has created. If you see this logo, it means the casino can be trusted for safe money transactions since they follow all of the rules set by the payment industry. Information about this can also be found in an FAQ section on the casino’s website.

Another thing to look out for in terms of payments is where your money is kept while you play. Some gambling authorities, all of the best ones actually, regulate what the casino can do with your money while they are holding it. Your money shouldn’t go into a general bank account held by the casino; it should go into an account that is strictly for holding player funds. This means that as long as you have the money in your player account, it can’t be spent by the casino. Your deposit will be kept separate from the operating funds of the casino until your player account is empty, which will happen if you make a funds withdrawal or if you lose the money while playing.


Fair gaming – do the games give me a fair chance to win?


The best known system tool for ensuring that a casino offers fair games is eCogra; however, there are other providers that also offer these kinds of systems. You want to make sure that the casino is using a certified third-party control system to ensure that the games of chance you’re playing are actually based on chance and not on other types of metrics. Rigged games are ones that have been set up to pay out less than they claim to or ones that give some players a greater chance of winning than others.

The eCogra logo can often be found in the footer of the casino’s website, but not all casinos choose to display it. If you can’t see this logo, go to the FAQs and see if you can find information about random number generators. If there are no FAQs on the site, check out their terms and conditions or contact the casino’s support and ask how they ensure their games are safe.


Encrypted website – how is my information kept safe?


An SSL-encrypted website should be mandatory for any casino, and very few casinos operate without this or similar safe encryption features. Always keep in mind that you are giving the casino quite a bit of sensitive information, including your payment details. When you’re uploading and sending documents to verify your identity, you want to make sure that no unauthorized third-party has access to them. Site security, therefore, doesn’t only include the website itself but also what the casino does on the backend. You should always look into a casino’s data security. You’ll normally find information about this in their terms and conditions and their privacy policy. If in doubt, contact their support and ask for more detailed information.

Most trustworthy casinos have information about site security in the website footer, so simply scroll down and look for the logo of a well-known security system.


Gambling license – can I play at a casino from my country?


The gambling license a casino operates under will have a big impact on your security. Not all licenses are equally safe for players for the simple reason that they are issued by different gambling authorities that work in different ways and have different rules. The rules and regulations may be quite similar, but the way they are enforced is a different story entirely. For example, if a casino doesn’t comply with the regulations, some gambling authorities may just issue a fine while others may revoke the casino’s license outright. How often gambling authorities show up for an unscheduled inspection or control will also vary.

The biggest differences between a safe, high quality gambling license and one that isn’t as good will usually show up in the areas of fair gaming, dispute resolution and the rules and systems for identifying and handling problem gamblers (responsible gambling). If your country of residence has its own gambling authority, playing at casinos that are licensed by them will be the safest option for you. Other international licenses that can be trusted are issued by the Malta Gambling Authority and the Gibraltar Regulatory Authority. Curacao eGaming is getting better at protecting players whereas licenses from Panama and Costa Rica, for instance, are considered less safe. The worst option is obviously a casino with no license whatsoever.


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