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Can You Bet on Horses in Maine?

The state of Maine is known for its picturesque scenery, delicious seafood, and its beautiful coastline. But what many people don’t know is that you can also bet on horses in Maine. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of horse racing in Maine, and discuss the different ways that you can place a wager.

History of Horse Racing in Maine

Horse racing has been a popular pastime in Maine since the 1800s. In 1852, the Portland Trotting Park was established, and it quickly became a popular attraction. Races were held at the track until it closed in 1938.

In the 1950s, horse racing was revived in the state with the opening of Scarborough Downs. The track is still in operation today, and it hosts a variety of different types of racing events.

Types of Horse Racing in Maine

Most horse races in Maine fall into two categories: harness racing and thoroughbred racing. Harness racing is a form of racing in which horses are pulled by a sulky (a two-wheeled cart) and ridden by a driver. This type of racing has been popular in Maine since the 1800s.

Thoroughbred racing is a more modern type of horse racing in which horses are ridden by jockeys. This type of racing is the most common type of horse racing in Maine and is popular with both spectators and gamblers.

Where to Place Your Bet on Horses in Maine

If you want to bet on horses in Maine, you have a few different options. The most common way to place a wager is to visit a racetrack. There are two racetracks in Maine: Scarborough Downs and Bangor Raceway. Both of these tracks offer live racing events and simulcast wagering.

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If you don’t want to go to the track, there are other ways to place a bet. Most racetracks in Maine offer online wagering, so you can bet on races from the comfort of your own home. You can also visit an OTB (off-track betting) location to place a bet. These locations are usually found in casinos, bars, and other places that have a gaming license.

Rules and Regulations for Betting on Horses in Maine

Before you place a bet on a horse race, it’s important to understand the rules and regulations in Maine. All betting in Maine is regulated by the Maine Gambling Control Board. All bets must be placed through either a racetrack or an OTB.

The minimum wager allowed at a racetrack is $2, and the minimum wager at an OTB is $1. There is no maximum wager, but some racetracks may impose a limit.

You must also be of legal gambling age to place a bet in Maine. The legal gambling age in Maine is 21.

Taxes on Horse Racing Winnings in Maine

If you win a bet on a horse race in Maine, you may be subject to taxes. All winnings from horse racing are subject to a state withholding tax of 4%. Any winnings over $2,500 are subject to an additional federal withholding tax of 25%.


The state of Maine offers many different options for betting on horses. Whether you want to visit a racetrack or bet online, you can enjoy the thrill of horse racing and the potential for big winnings. Just make sure you understand the rules and regulations, and pay close attention to the taxes that you may owe on your winnings.