Maine lawmakers are considering a proposal to allow the state’s tribes to operate a casino, a measure drawing a lot of opposition.
The proposal would allow the tribes to jointly operate a casino with slot machines at an undetermined location at least 50 miles from either the Bangor or Oxford County casinos. The Passamaquoddy representative to the Legislature, Rena Newell, urged members of the Veterans and Legal Affairs Committee to support the bill and help repair the poor relations between the tribes and the state.
“Not only to be recognized in the future as those who changed the rejections of history, but as those who recognized the need to work together in improving tribal-state relations,” she says.
Supporters argue that it would bolster the economy of whichever area is selected, and the financial health of the tribes as well.
The proposal has drawn opposition from the operators of both existing casinos as well as from business groups, who fear that a third casino would simply draw more money away from the local economy but provide no real benefit.