Maine has licensed restricted on line casino video games since voters permitted slot machines in 2003. However the native tribes of Maine are nonetheless excluded from the playing business.
AUGUSTA, Maine – The 4 Native American tribes of Maine are as soon as once more making an attempt to realize permission to construct a playing on line casino. Regardless that there are already two business casinos in Maine, lawmakers and voters prior to now have defeated the efforts. geared toward opening a tribal on line casino.
Tribal chiefs in Maine level out that 30 different states enable tribal casinos to function on tribal lands, on account of a federal regulation that enables them to take action. However this regulation doesn’t apply in Maine as a result of 1980 federal Maine Indian Land Claims Settlement, which primarily requires a on line casino to be permitted underneath state regulation.
To alter this, the tribes of Maine are asking the legislature to vary the Settlement Act and provides them the identical rights as all different tribes within the nation in relation to casinos on tribal lands.
“That is about the suitable of the tribes of Maine to behave like different federally acknowledged tribes as a result of we’re a federally acknowledged tribe,” mentioned Maulian Dana, Penobscot Tribal Ambassador to the state authorities. “We didn’t quit our standing after we signed the 1980 land claims act.
The chiefs of the Penobscot and Maliseet tribes help this, saying that the central subject is that they’re handled pretty and placed on the identical stage as all different tribes, with the identical rights.
“There isn’t any extra egregious instance of unfairness than what has occurred with our inexperienced charges taken away and by no means returned,” mentioned Kirk Francis, chief of the Penobscots.
“It is time for the state and the tribes to actually roll up our sleeves, discover options, set up equity and justice for the tribes of Maine and discover a mutually helpful state of affairs.
Spokesmen for the 2 business casinos, Hollywood Slots and Oxford On line casino, have each spoken out towards the invoice, citing the numerous lack of income through the pandemic and saying any additional competitors would additional harm their companies.
“The growth of playing right into a saturated market will harm current services, lose jobs and stagnate current improvement,” mentioned Dan Walker of Oxford On line casino.
Committee members expressed concern in regards to the affect of a tribal on line casino on agricultural gala’s and harness racing in Maine, that are mentioned to profit current casinos, and on different state applications that profit from the “stunt.” , the share of earnings being on line casino operators should share with the state authorities.
Rep. Benjamin Collings, the sponsor of the invoice, mentioned these are all points that can be settled in negotiations as soon as a selected on line casino is definitely proposed.
“Which suggests they are not simply going to do no matter they need, they need to make a pact with the state. Negotiate with the state, ”he mentioned.
Others questioned whether or not tribes would additionally have to ask Maine residents to vote on a brand new tribal on line casino, as present proposals require underneath state regulation. This query, and lots of others, will have to be thought-about by the Committee when it assesses the invoice and decides whether or not it is able to give the tribes of Maine extra management and autonomy.