Maine Lawmakers Look at Expanded Gaming

Maine lawmakers are looking to take the approval of casinos out of the hands of the initiative process and put it under the control of the state government. They are using a report by WhiteSand Gaming to bolster their case.

A bipartisan group of legislators in Maine are pointing to a study that the state can support more casinos than the two that currently operate and which paid the state million in taxes last year.

The study by WhiteSand Gaming, which was commissioned by the legislature, recommends southern Maine as the best location for a resort style casino and maybe a smaller casino in the opposite end of the state.

According to Rep. Diane Russell, “We have had an opportunity to learn from what we have seen, learn from what has happened, and now we need to make sure we are prepared for the future and that requires a comprehensive approach to learning.” She called the study a “roadmap” for optimizing the state’s return.

The study recommends requiring a minimum investment of $25 million and a licensing fee of $5 million.

The lawmakers supporting the proposal saw that bringing casinos to the state should be removed from the citizen initiative process and decided by competitive bidding. The two casinos now operating in the state arrived due to initiative, which deprived the state of licensing fees.