The Oxford Casino is a non-Indian gaming facility in Oxford, Maine. Photo: Oxford Casino

Tribes once again ask Maine for approval to join the gaming industry

Legislation under consideration in Maine would finally allow tribes to enter the modern gaming industry.

LD 1144, HP0833 authorizes a casino to be operated by a "joint tribal entity." Any, or all, of the tribes in the state -- the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township, the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Pleasant Point, the Penobscot Nation, the Aroostook Band of Micmacs and the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians -- would be able to participate.

LD 1244, HP0905 authorizes the Passamaquoddy Tribe at Indian Township to add slot machines to an existing high-stakes bingo facility.

Both bills were heard by the Committee On Veterans and Legal Affairs on Monday, with the first drawing opposition from the operators of the two existing casinos in the state, according to news reports. They are worried about losing revenues even though a study commissioned by the Legislature suggests the market exists for a third facility.

Some tribes are in a unique situation because they fall under land claim settlements that subject their reservations to state law. As a result, they cannot follow the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Tribes in the past have asked voters to approve gaming facilities but all of those efforts were defeated even as the non-Indian operators won approval to do the same.

Read More on the Story
Bill Would Authorize Third Maine Casino, Run By State's Tribes (Maine Public March 25, 2019)
Maine Tribal Casino Opposed by Commercial Gaming Operators, Business Groups (Casino.Org March 28, 2019)

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