Maine's Governor Vetoes Tribal Gaming Bill

This story was published more than 2 years ago.

This week Maine Governor Janet Mills vetoed a bill that would have let the state's tribes open casinos on their reservations.

The bill was passed by the state's legislature last month and would have opened things for tribes. Currently, there is a compact that ties the hands of the Indians, keeping them from doing what they please on their land.

Explaining the decision, Mills wrote a four-page letter to the legislature, in which she wrote: "I believe that Maine's Federally-recognized Tribes have been unfairly excluded from the opportunity to operate their own gaming facility-a problem that I believe can and should be ratified."

Among Mills' concerns were tax issues as well as a lack of health and safety protocols, and the lack of verbiage on how large a casino could be.

Her veto was skewered by those in the Native American community, with Aroostook Band of Micmac Chief Charlie Peter-Paul saying: "It's unfortunate the Governor opted to ignore the overwhelming support in the legislature. The tribes are merely asking to be able to determine their communities' futures. They should have that right on their native lands. The legislature understands this. The people of Maine understand this. The Governor and the large corporate gaming operations in Maine clearly don't."

With the veto, the bill will head back to the Legislature, where it can still be passed with a 2/3 majority vote. If it doesn't survive there, it will have to be reincorporated as a new bill and go through the process again.

Casino Listings News is following this story and will be updating readers as we learn more.

About the author

Dustin Jermalowicz // News Editor
Dustin Jermalowicz
Dustin has a long-standing passion for gambling. He has been writing professionally on the subject and breaking industry news for Casino Listings since 2011. His favorite casino games include Blackjack, Poker, and Hi/Lo. A proud native of Detroit, Dustin currently lives in Michigan.