Add some extra excitement to your Maine vacation by dancing with Lady Luck at one of the state’s gaming and wagering venues. Maine has a long history of gaming entertainment; the first casinos were built in the late 19th century.
These early gaming centers were conveniently built along the trolley lines that run through Brunswick and Portland. Gambling once again was legalized in 2004, when Maine voters approved slot machines. In 2010, voters decided to allow a casino to be constructed in Oxford County. Other wagering venues include live harness racing at racetracks and agricultural fairs, pull tabs, bingo and coin boards.
Scarborough Downs Harness Race Track
The Scarborough Downs Harness Race Track in Scarborough draws on Maine’s long equine heritage. Home to the fastest half-mile track in New England, the race track is set on 500 forested acres. The track first opened in the 1950s, when it was used as a thoroughbred track; it was transformed into a harness track in the 1970s.
Today, the track operates from March through December and offers more than 100 live harness races each year. It also offers simulcasts of harness and thoroughbred horse races from the best tracks in the United States and Canada almost every day of the year. Scarborough Downs Harness Race Track has a 300 seat dining room, two bars and a VIP lounge.
Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway
If you’re looking for one-stop gaming and wagering, the Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway has it. Just outside of downtown Bangor, this stay-and-play destination offers casino gaming, with Vegas-style black jack, slot machines, roulette and live Texas Hold ‘Em, Omaha and 7-Card Stud poker tables. From May through November, the Hollywood Casino Hotel and Raceway also hosts live harness racing at the former Bangor Raceway, as well as a full schedule of live simulcasts of races from across the United States. The venue has several restaurants and a cocktail lounge.
For even more live harness racing excitement, many of Maine’s agricultural fairs allow betting on pari-mutuel races. Most take place from August through October. Venues include:
- Fryeburg Fair in Fryeburg
- Cumberland County Fair in Cumberland
- Skowhegan State Fair in Skowhegan
- Northern Maine Fair in Presque Isle
- Topsham Fair in Topsham
- Union Fair in Union
- Windsor Fair in Windsor
- Oxford Fair in Oxford
- Farmington Fair in Farmington
Penobscot High Stakes Bingo
Located in Old Town on Indian Island, Penobscot High Stakes Bingo was established in 1973. Set in the Sockalexis Bingo Palace, this venue offers a range of bingo games, coin boards and pull tabs. Every six weeks, visitors can attend super bingo weekends that offer up to $250,000 in prizes. Penobscot High Stakes Bingo offers packages that include round-trip bus transportation, hotel accommodations and discounted prices on two-day bingo play.
Whether you prefer the excitement of a live harness race, the flash and dazzle of Vegas-style casinos, or the thrill of bingo, Maine has it all!