Maine has two casino, one in Bangor and one in Oxford. Both are privately owned. And while gaming is seemingly leveling off a bit in these two casinos, the legislative continues to float ideas of adding more.
The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians are trying to bring a casino into Aroostook County and history says it will be an uphill battle.
Several other casinos proposals have been made over the years by multiple Indian tribes, but with little success.
Katherine Bavoso of WLBZ Channel 2 in Maine notes that in 2003, efforts by the Passamaquoddy tribe and Penobscot Nation to build a casino in Sanford were rejected in a statewide vote while the Hollywood Casino was approved on the same ballot. A Passamaquoddy owned and operated casino and race track facility in Washington County was also voted down in 2007. Similar efforts for another tribal racino in Washington County were also thrown out when the Maine Racino Initiative was rejected in 2011.
According to the Maliseet Tribal Chief, a tribe owned and operated casino in Aroostook County would be in a prime location for tourists going between Maine and Canada on I-95, and that it would bring money, jobs and overall economic development to the surrounding communities. But the bill asks that referendum only be a county wide vote rather than statewide like that of casino referendums in the past. And why should it be state wide if an anti-tribal sentiment from the state of Maine would slant the vote away from the communities that may need that economic boost from tourism.
That’s all for now.