Legislation

Houlton Band upset with failure of yet another tribal casino bill




The Oxford Casino, a non-Indian gaming facility in Maine. Photo from Facebook

The Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians still plans to pursue gaming even though lawmakers in Maine killed another tribal casino bill.

Chief Brenda Commander wouldn't elaborate on the plans going forward. But she told the Associated Press that she has been discussing options with the Penobscot Nation and the Passamaquoddy Tribe (Pleasant Point and Indian Township).

"The whole process was not what we wanted to see," Commander told the AP. "Historically, we've had our challenges with the state over the years."

The tribes have long sought to engage in gaming but their proposals have not been received favorably. Meanwhile, lawmakers and voters have given approval to two non-Indian facilities in the central and southern parts of the state.

Tribes thought they had a better chance after a report commissioned by the Legislature suggested a northern facility. But that wasn't the case when LD 1446 was killed in the Senate earlier this week after it passed the House last week.

The tribes are in a unique situation because they fall under land claim settlements that subject their reservations to state law. As a result, they cannot follow the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act.

Get the Story:
Tribal leader: Casino bill failure widens rift with state (AP 6/25)
Maine House and Senate at Odds over Casino Proposals (Maine Public Broadcasting 6/23)

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Maine lawmakers kill bill to authorize tribally-operated casino (6/23)
Measure to approve tribally-operated casino advances in Maine (6/22)
Maine lawmakers introduce bills to authorize casinos for tribes (04/28)
Houlton Band hopes to avoid statewide referendum on casino bid (04/09)
Lawmaker from Houlton Band introduces bill to authorize casino (04/08)
Maine tribes hopeful for casino as lawmakers examine new study (09/11)
Report suggests path for a tribal gaming facility in northern Maine (09/03)