Over the last decade, Maine’s attempt to control the expanson of legalized gambling has been a failure.
The Legislature and two governors refused to create a fair process for licensing gambling facilities.
Instead, the operators of proposed casinos were able to write their own laws and hire people to gather enough signatures to put them on the ballot.
For the operators, it’s been a crapshoot. Some proposals were voted down, others approved based on the mood that Election Day.
As a new commission begins work on a recomendation for the Legislature, it should consider the needs of the state’s Indian tribes, which have all attempted to open casinos but were turned down by the voters. The market for new casinos is not unlimited, so it’s unrealistic that every tribe could have its own facility.
The commission should find a way to share the benefit among all the tribes if there is to be an expansion.