While Massachusetts and Rhode Island are ready to explode begin a New England Gambling border war, (see yesterday’s comparison of Plainridge & Twin River at https://aubin330rta.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=3669&action=edit ), Maine is quietly setting up for more gambling possibilities. These “possibilities” are meant to help the northern Maine areas, especially those tribes living there. The House of Representatives on Thursday endorsed a bill that would allow Maine’s Native American tribes to operate a casino in Washington County or Aroostook County. If approved by the Senate today:
- the bill would allow a competitive bid process dependent on which proposal would create maximum economic and employment benefit for Maine’s four federally recognized Indian tribes
- bids would be considered by a new body called the Casino Development Commission, and
- Voters would need to approve the casino plan in a countywide referendum.
Rep. Henry John Bear of the Houlton Band of Maliseets said Friday the bill has support from the tribes and a majority of lawmakers.
According to Christopher Cousins of the Bangor Daily News, “efforts by the tribes to implement and expand gaming have been turned back by the Legislature multiple times in recent years. Bear said the change of heart that could be unfolding in the Legislature likely is linked to a White Sands Gaming report which found northern Maine could support a casino.”
Speculated type of casino gaming would be similar to Class II gaming machines – based on a central computer as bingo wins – that appear to be Vegas style Class III machines found in Bangor and Oxford casinos.
Hollywood Casino still feels this would pose a threat to an already barely stable revenue income at this time. I feel they may be right, being caught in middle between northern Maine and Oxford in the south.
The Senate votes today……
That’s all for now.