The bill that would authorise tribal gaming in Maine was discussed at a hearing where its sponsor exposed the reasons why tribes deserve the legalisation.
US.- The state legislature’s Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee discussed the possibility of legalising 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.
The state currently features two casinos: The Hollywood Casino Hotel & Racewat Bangor and the Oxford Casino. Collings claimed that for years the tribes have carried the burden of bringing gaming to the state and they’ve come close and have never got it. “And right now out of state corporations have claimed a monopoly here in the state and I’m glad for the jobs they provide but there’s room in the market for tribal gaming,” he added. If it gets legalised, the Department of Public Safety and local Gambling Control Board would be allowed to receive and accept casino licenses applications from the Micmac, Passamaquoddy, Penobscot and Maliseet tribes.
A Maine casino license gives the possibility to a holder to feature up to 1500 slot machines at different facilities, and 25 percent of net slot machine revenue and 16 percent of net table game revenue go directly to the state fund. As reported by casino.org, the lawmakers were questioned over the fact that the tribes didn’t send any representatives to the meeting, but the officials said that they were fatigued over past failures. “They weren’t willing to come here and be part of the process. Right now at least four of the five tribal communities are in a wait and see approach. They’re watching this they’re seeing if anything comes about and if it does they may be more engaged. As you know they’ve been here they’ve put a lot of time and resources so they’ve been to this dance more than once,” Collings commented.
On the other hand, a representative from the Hollywood Casino in Bangor said that any expansion of gambling would erode their ability to continue to operate.