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, 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.


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


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.


The Best of New England Casinos – The “Nettie” Awards for 2016


The “NETTIE.” presents our yearly awards for New England’s Casinos.

Who’s the Best?  Where’s the Best? All presented to you by

netime-logo NECA

Here are the results, with more fans responding this year than our previous years.  The Best of 2016, by popular vote.  And the Big winner this year is:

Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, Connecticut.

Wombi Rock at Mohegan Sun

Wombi Rock at Mohegan Sun

Best Hotel – 1.Mohegan Sun   2. Foxwoods 

Best Bars – 1.Mohegan Sun   2. Foxwoods  2. Twin River (tied) 

Best Night Clubs / Lounge – 1.Mohegan Sun   2. Foxwoods

Best Dining Options – 1.Mohegan Sun   2. Foxwoods 

Tom's urbanFavorite Restaurant – Tom’s Urban (Mohegan Sun)

Best Dining Value – 1.Mohegan Sun   2. Oxford Casino & Plainridge Park (tied)

Best Buffet –  1.Mohegan Sun   2. Oxford Casino

Best Small Venue for Entertainment – 1.Mohegan Sun  2. Twin River 

Best Large Venue for Entertainment – Mohegan Sun Arena

Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville CT

Mohegan Sun Arena, Uncasville CT

Best Casino Slots – 1.Mohegan Sun   2. Twin River & Plainridge Park (tied)

Mr. Cashman Slot Machine

Mr. Cashman Slot Machine

Favorite Slot Machine – Cashman & Hot Hot Penny (tied)

Best Video Poker – 1. Mohegan Sun  2. Foxwoods

Best Casino Table Games – 1. Foxwoods  2. Mohegan Sun & Twin River (tied)

BEST Poker Room – 1. Foxwoods  2. Twin River 

Foxwoods Resort Casino, CT

Foxwoods Resort Casino, CT

Favorite Table Game – 1. Blackjack  2. Craps

Best Racebook – 1. Foxwoods  2. Plainridge Park

Best Casino Players Club – 1.Mohegan Sun   2. Foxwoods  2. Twin River (tied) 

Casino You Feel the Luckiest In – 1.Mohegan Sun   2. Twin River & Plainridge Park (tied)

Two new questions we begged to ask this year:

How Many times Do You Visit a New England Casino? –                                 1. 63% once/month      2. 25% once/week

Which casino (approved or not) are you MOST interested in visiting in the future?  1. Third Connecticut casino   2. Wynn Boston Harbor

So, there it is.  The popular vote deciding the BEST of New England Gambling.

BUT WAIT.  Tomorrow we reveal our own picks as our experienced & knowledgeable staff present the EDITORS’ CHOICE AWARDS for 2016, with explanations and comparisons – you won’t want to miss it.