Happy Thanksgiving from GGB; Newsletter Returns December 4

Gaming Study Bill Gains Support in Maine Legislature

Lawmakers in Maine may adopt legislation that would fund a study to look at feasibility of expanding gaming in the state.

The Maine legislature, which last month failed to adopt any legislation that would allow the state’s three tribe’s to expand gaming—despite widespread support— does seem to be reaching consensus on a bill that would earmark 0,000 for a study on the feasibility of expanding gaming, including Indian gaming, in the state.

There are details that need to be worked out. Among them addressing criticisms that some stakeholders are being left out, such as veterans and fraternal groups.

The three tribes that seek the legislative go-ahead to offer or expand gaming include the Penobscot Nation, the Passamaquoddy Tribe, and the Houlton Band of Maliseets.

Some lawmakers think that rather than a feasibility study that a full-blown analysis is called for.

However the Senate is now going over a version that was passed by a 96-45 vote in the House two weeks ago.

Senator Linda Valentino, quoted by the Maine Public Broadcasting Network, declared, “I think that if we’re spending $150,000 on a report, we need to do a full report on it, we don’t need to just stop at the market analysis.”

Rep. Diane Russell called the proposed bill, “a sweetheart deal for Las Vegas. If you want your gaming money to go to places like the Bellagio and MGM — be my guest.”

Last month the House approved of a bill that would have authorized gaming expansion, but it died in the Senate.