Live Online Gambling for Horse Racing Available in Maine

May 22, 2020 07:05Joe Tarzaiski
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US legislators seem to be opening their eyes and realizing online gaming proponents are becoming essential. Legalizing online gambling and other gaming activities is a way to increase revenues flowing during the current COVID-19 pandemic.

The states that legalized online gaming and virtual sportsbooks when they approved expanded gambling operations are reaping the benefits of keeping at least some of their anticipated revenue coming. Maine is next in line to join the legal online gaming community.

Maine Joins the Legal Gaming World

The Maine Gambling Control Board (MGCB) approved a measure that will allow state residents to place wagers on horseraces through online sportsbooks.

Previous to this decision, only in-person wagers on horse races were allowed at one of the state’s racetracks or off-track land-based venues.

Harness racing is still on hold due to the Coronavirus pandemic, but once it makes a return, state residents will have the opportunity to use their online platforms to make their wagers on this as well.

The first to jump on board and go live with the option is Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway, a Penn National gambling property that offers the Hollywood Races app as well as the Hollywood Online Casino.

Christopher McErlean, Vice President of Racing for Penn National Gaming Inc., stated:

“We are excited to bring this form of gaming to Maine. This is a tried and tested use of technology for more people to get excited about the sport of horse racing, any time of day, any day of the year, and allows Mainers to enjoy races taking places across the world from the comfort of their own home.”

Why so Long to Legalize Online Wagering in Maine?

As far as seven years ago, Maine has been reluctant on seeing the necessity of the expansion of gambling options within the state, debating it would cause a negative effect on the state’s economy. It wasn’t until COVID-19 struck, taking a stab at the state’s revenue due to lack of gambling.

When sports gambling came up for discussion after the reversal of PASPA, Governor Janet Mills rejected legislation, stating it would lead to improper types of wagers. But in due time, it will not be improbable to expect limited access to sports betting in the near future.

In Maine, gamers who are placing horseracing wagers online will be required to create an online account and have it authenticated. Once the process is complete, they can fund their accounts with credit cards, bank transfers, or live deposits.

McErlean added: “With more and more racing coming back around the world, this is nice timing for any racing enthusiast in Maine who has missed visiting simulcast wagering facilities, OTB’s or the tracks. Importantly, a percentage of revenues from Hollywood Races will go to the state and support the harness racing industry in Maine, similar to what is in place at Hollywood Casino."

Joe Tarzaiski
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Joe Tarzaiski began his sports writing career in 2004 in the Philadelphia market, analyzing and handicapping professional sports, college sports, poker and various table games. He currently reports on the increased efforts on the legalization and continual growth of sports betting throughout the United States. A Philadelphia University alum, Joe is dedicated to following current trends in both the gaming community and daily news throughout the sports world.
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