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House Backs Bill Authorizing a Casino for Maine's Tribes

AUGUSTA, Maine - The Democratic-controlled House of Representatives has given initial approval to a bill that would allow Maine's American Indian tribes to bring a casino to northern Maine.

The House endorsed the bill by a vote of 114-26 on Thursday with no debate. It faces further votes.

The bill, which was crafted by the Legislature's Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee, would establish a competitive bid process for a casino in Washington or Aroostook County. The license would be awarded to the bidder that can prove their casino would provide the most economic benefits to the state's four federally-recognized tribes.

Maine's tribes have pushed for years for a casino to bring jobs and money into their communities. But Maine's two existing casinos have fiercely opposed the expansion of gambling in the state.