Although Maine is known for its scenic beauty and picturesque towns, casinos in Maine as well as raceways provide an alternative form of entertainment for visitors.
Whether you are looking to try your hand at a table game, win big at the slots, or bet at the racetrack, gambling in Maine offers something for everyone — if you’re at least 21.
VisitMaine.net encourages responsible play. Gambling responsibly means being able to exercise control over your gambling activity, not letting it negatively impact other areas of your life.
Visit One of Maine’s Casinos
You don’t have to be a big-shot gambler to revel in the thrill of taking a risk at the blackjack table or taking a chance at a game of roulette. Maine gambling offers the same excitement as a casino in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, but on a smaller scale and at a more affordable price.
Slot machines are a fun way to gamble without losing a ton of money and can start for as little as 1 cent. If you’re in Hollywood Slots and feeling lucky, try a live table game of poker or blackjack where the stakes are high and you could really win big!
Gaming, gambling, and wagering can be an addiction, but visiting a casino should be a casual night of fun. Maybe you’ll win, maybe you’ll lose–that’s the appeal of gambling. It’s living on the edge without really living on the edge.
Prepare to have fun, have a laugh, and always remember to play responsibly within your limits.
Maine is home to two casinos — one in Oxford and one in Bangor.
777 Casino Way, Oxford
Oxford Casino Hotel is always open and always fun!
Experience ‘round-the-clock casino excitement on their expanded gaming floor, including nearly 1,000 slot machines, including video poker, video slots, and reel slots.
Oxford Casino also has nearly two dozen table games that accommodate all gaming styles. With games that include roulette, craps, Louisiana Stud, and Jackpot Hold’em, you’re in for some wicked good fun!
The hotel features over 100 rooms and is perfect if you’re looking to stay close to Kennebunk, Portland, Freeland, or several other cities in the vicinity.
When you’re hungry, stop by the Ox Pub, a pub-style restaurant that offers the best in Maine and New England cuisine. Oxford Express is a great option if you’re looking for a quick bite to eat like a slice of pizza.
If you’re looking for a gaming experience that’s uniquely Maine, you’ll find it right here, just minutes from Portland!
500 Main St, Bangor
Hollywood Casino Bangor has it all, from hundreds of slot machines to table games to harness racing to great dining.
Visit the casino, where thrilling games of chance like live poker, blackjack, and roulette games surround you, or check out your favorite reel or video slots.
Experience the excitement of watching and betting on live harness races every May through November.
After a full day of gambling, relax at the Hotel with over 150 rooms and suites.
If you’re looking for something nosh on, visit 99 Hops House for a selection of nearly 100 beers and tasty pub food. If you really like beer, you can try all 99 beers (over multiple visits of course) and complete a Beer Baron passport.
Harness Racing: A Tradition in Maine
If you don’t get your kicks in a casino, visit the racetrack instead. Harness racing is popular in Maine with a history that dates back more than 100 years.
What is Harness Racing?
Harness racing, which has a rich history in Maine, is a type of horse racing where a single horse or a team of horses pulls a cart (sometimes called a spider, a bike, or a sulky) at a leisurely pace, usually at a trot.
Most harness races begin behind a motorized barrier. Behind the barrier, horses start pacing or trotting as the barrier leads the horses to the starting line. Once the horse reaches the starting line, the barrier folds up and the horse begins its race.
Most harness races in North America are just a mile long and are run on tracks designed only for this type of racing. Depending on the race track, a driver’s strategy may change for a race and many races prove to be very competitive.
Visit One of Maine’s Eight Racing Tracks
Nothing beats the excitement of picking a horse, betting big, and cheering it on as it rounds the final stretch to the finish line.
Standardbred races began in Maine in 1893 when they took place at fairs in Bangor, Lewiston, and other fairs around Maine. Today, racing is governed by the Maine Harness racing commission.
For years, Scarborough Downs was one of the most popular places on the east coast for races. As Maine’s largest race track, it hosted thoroughbred horse races into 1972 when it became solely a harness racing venue.
Unfortunately, Scarborough Downs held its final races in 2020.
Nowadays, Mainers who are fans of harness racing can find races at eight different tracks (including at the Hollywood casino), many of which make harness racing a part of agricultural fairs.
Nearly all of Maine’s harness racing tracks are in Southern Maine, including:
Cumberland Fair Grounds | Cumberland
Maine has a rich history of harness racing at agricultural fairs and the first races on the Cumberland grounds in 1868. Since then, it’s been a staple of Cumberland for more than 150 years.
One of the most fun parts of the year is during Cumberland’s annual Winter Festival, which features nearly two dozen dates with races on the grounds.
Racing also takes place at the Cumberland Fair each fall and is one of the longest-standing traditions of the fair.
Skowhegan State Fair | Skowhegan
As the self-proclaimed home of the “Fastest Race in Maine,” Mainers love coming here to watch the harness races.
Harness racing has been a part of the Skowhegan Fair since the late 1800s and lots of folks would bring their horses to the fair to see who had the fastest horse in the area.
The fair has seen more than its fair share of incredible racing through the years and it’s still known as a great race track that offers a warm and friendly welcome.
Farmington Fair | Farmington
Races at the annual Farmington Fair are run on a half-mile-long oval in front of open grandstands. The fair has been an annual tradition in Farmington and the races always draw a good crowd.
Fryeburg Race Track | Fryeburg
Every October, harness racing is one of the highlights of the Fryeburg Fair.
The main grandstand holds almost 3,000 people and most of the seats offer a preview view of the whole track. Make sure to get there early because seats fill up fast!
Union Fair | Union
There’s just something Mainers love about seeing majestic horses in stride during harness races at a county fair.
Harness races have been a part of the Union Fair since 1902. It was also the first track in Maine (and perhaps in the nation) to remove the hub rail on the inside of the track to make races safer for drivers and horses.
Union Fair racing doesn’t claim to have the biggest track or the fastest racing, but what it does offer is good, old-fashioned fun over a week each July.
Harness racing can also be found at these other fairs:
- Windsor Fair, Windsor: The fair is traditionally held in late August.
- Topsham Fair, Topsham: The fair is usually held in August.
Plan a Maine Casino or Racetrack Trip Today!
Mainers and out-of-towners alike know that a trip anywhere in Maine is something very special.
But a trip to one of Maine’s racetracks or a Maine casino is another great way to let your hair down and relax. Whether you love casinos and races or you’re just a casual gambler, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.
Your Maine escape waits, so plan your trip to one of Maine’s casinos today! Experience the wide variety of gambling opportunities that await you. Sip your favorite drink, find your favorite game, and, above all, have fun!