The state Senate passed a bill on April 9th, 2008 that would give permission to the Penobscot Indian Tribe to offer 100 slot machines at their large-stakes bingo establishment on Indian Island. The proposal was approved in a 24-10 vote and followed a House decision a week earlier that passed the bill in 101-42 vote. The majority approval in both houses can hopefully edge out the veto by Governor John Baldacci, but it has to pass a few more challenges before it is finalize and included in the state of Maine law.
Penobscot’s original plan to offer four hundred slot machines was scaled down to one hundred slot machines in a house modification. The approval of the Senate will now send the proposal back to the House for enactment and then send back to the Senate for the same procedure. The head of the Penobscot Nation, Kirk Francis was optimistic that with the help of the majority of both houses, the bill could withstand any veto.
Before the slots proposal of the Penobscot tribe, a racino proposal of the Passamaquoddy Indian tribe was narrowly edge out just last fall after an anti-Indian casino organization, CasinosNO!, shell out $195,000 in an advertising campaign against the slots proposal in a series of advertisements from the media organization, Stevens Reed Curcio and Potholm of Alexandria, Virginia.
Chief Kirk Francis commented that that gaming has grown and improved over the years in Maine like the lottery, Powerball and others. It is only fair that the Indian tribes should benefit from this growth and the state should also help them to be self-sufficient.