Maine Opposition To Tribal Gaming is Prejudicial

While Connecticut waits for a legislative decision to possibly allow a commercial casino to accompany the tribal casino monopoly, Maine has just been dealt with the opposite proposal – a tribal casino to be allowed in a state of commercial gaming casinos.

According to Focusgn.com, Maine’s state legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee discussed the possibility of legalizing a bill that would allow tribes to offer casino gaming in the state. Rep. Benjamin Collings, D-Portland, said that the tribes should be able to create an economic system that would bring benefits to the tribes.

300px-Wohngebiet_MaliseetSeveral other casinos proposals have been made over the years by multiple Indian tribes, but with little success.  The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians tried to bring a casino into Aroostook County four years ago. 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.

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Passamaquaddy Crest

In 2013, the Penobscot Indian Nation has tried to pass a bill to enhance its existing gaming operation—a 30-year-old traditional bingo enterprise that uses a bingo caller and bingo cards. And it’s the fifth year in a row its efforts have been thwarted by the state.  But Maine officials claimed that the Nation’s proposed Class II bingo machines are really Class III slot machines—a claim that’s refuted by two of the most reputable companies in the country that manufacture, test and certify gaming machines.  Class III is a designation applied only to “tribal” casinos and are Vegas-style Slot Machines used on tribal casinos such as Mohegan Sun, & Foxwoods.  They are exactly the same, Class II are tribal casino machines that work as a bingo machine and may look like a slot machine, but doesn’t act like one in paying off the player.  Check out the following links for more info on Class II & Class III.

Legal Distinction Between Class II and III Gaming Causes Innovation, Anguish

Slot Machines, VLT’s What’s the Difference? – John Grochowski Explains

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Chief Kirk Francis talks about why Penobscot Nation officials are upset by the state’s delay of license request that would allow the tribe to use Bingo machines. The state says they’re slot machines, the tribe says it’s part of Bingo operations.

So why is 2017 so different? Maine has, in the past been accused of pursuing policies that force the state’s recognized tribes into a cycle of dependence rather than fostering economic self-sufficiency. Maine currently has two commercial casinos, Oxford Casino and the Hollywood Casino Hotel & Raceway Bangor, while the Passamaquoddy tribe operates a high-stakes bingo parlor in Indian Township.

This bill would authorize the Department of Public Safety, Gambling Control Board to accept applications for casino licenses from the states four recognized tribes,which comprise five tribal communities: the Micmac, Maliseet, Passamaquoddy and Penobscot.

These licenses would permit the operation of table games and up to 1,500 slot machines at multiple facilities. It would also exempt the tribes from the state regulation that no casino may be built within 100 miles of an existing casino or slot machine facility. Twenty-five percent of net slot machine revenue and 16 percent of net table game revenue go the state general fund.

York County, Maine om the Mass & NH borders where the third Casino in Maine is proposed

York County, Maine, on the Mass & NH borders where the third Casino in Maine is proposed.

As one can imagine, Hollywood Bangor & Oxford Casino officials are not too happy.  It has another fight to the southwest of Maine – a proposed York County casino.  The Legislature is expected to put the casino question to voters in November because backers collected enough signatures to place it on the ballot. Lawmakers criticized an effort to bring a casino to York County saying the company behind the proposal has a questionable history and would be handed exclusive and lucrative rights to build the casino if voters approve.

Could Maine support all these possibilities?  Probably Not.  While it is the 39th largest state in the Union – larger than South Carolina  & W. Virginia,  and slightly smaller than Indiana – only 10 states have less residents, three of which are also in New England!  Tribals nations in the north do have the distance away from New England casinos and a close proximity to Canada.  But York County?  That’s another question that won’t be answered for a while – if it ever gets approved.

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Penn Gaming Raising the Social Media Bar in New England Casinos

2 Casinos in New England

2 Casinos in New England – Bangor, Maine & Plainville, Massachusetts

Penn National Gaming, who owns Plainridge Park Casino & Raceway in Plainville, Massachusetts & Hollywood Casino, Hotel & Raceway in Bangor, Maine are ramping up its image with increased and improved promotions.  The promotions are many and interesting.  Hollywood alone shows more media connections by offering patrons daily emails of news and promos.

Hollywood Casino, Maine

Hollywood Casino, Maine

Before the Massachusetts expansion, Hollywood’s Bangor Casino seemed to be riding the tide of being the only hotel/casino in the area, with Twin River Casino in Rhode Island the closest competitor. But with competition from Oxford Casino in Oxford, Maine and Massachusetts, things needed to get serious.  Hollywood’s website and media effort seemed almost like an afterthought – until the last few months.th

Now, Penn Gaming is raising the bar in entertainment, dining, and gambling promotions to get you – yes YOU – in the door.

Penn National Gaming, through its subsidiaries, owns, operates or has ownership interests in gaming and racing facilities with a focus on slot machine entertainment. The Company presently operates twenty-six facilities in seventeen jurisdictions, including Florida, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Maine, Massachusetts, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Texas, West Virginia, and Ontario.

Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts

Plainridge Park Casino in Massachusetts

The company traces its roots to Penn National Race Course, which opened in 1972. As recent as April 2015, the company agreed to purchase the Tropicana for $360 million to gets it’s first pretense on the Las Vegas Strip.

Plainridge has shown success beyond the Bay State’s dreams.  It’s location, newness, and continued push through social media continues to impress – not resting on its summer laurels.  And now, Penn it starting the same social media barrage in Maine – a very needed addition to raise Hollywood in Bangor out of its roller coaster revenue ride.

If you check out the two casino websites, you will find expanded promotions schedules, racing schedules, login ability to check your Marquee Rewards, and more. Entertainment schedules are still included, with many different options through out the week, especially in Plainville.

Hollywood Casino Hotel in Bangor, Maine

Hollywood Casino Hotel in Bangor, Maine

So, click on the side bar links and get to know Penn’s two casinos – the only two casinos in New England linked by the same rewards club!  mrrewards-927x282And take a weekend this autumn to drive to Hollywood if you live in southern New England.  The hotel is nice, Bangor is a great little town, the foliage should be awesome (don’t wait too long) and check out the Casino.

That’s all for now.

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