Published October 21, 2017
Maine Indian tribe supports York County gaming and entertainment center that will provide a major economic boost to the tribe and the state
PORTLAND, MAINE – Progress for Maine announced today the launch of a new ad highlighting the Aroostook Band of Micmacs’ support for Yes on Question 1, which would create $45 million in new annual state tax revenue by allowing a new gaming and entertainment center to be built in York County.
The ad features Aroostook Band of Micmacs Vice Chief Richard Silliboy discussing support for a York County casino following a recent agreement in principle with the primary backers of Question 1.
“I believe that a gaming facility in Southern Maine would benefit most of the people throughout the state,” says Silliboy. He also notes that a York County gaming facility will enable the Micmacs to pursue new economic development, and “bring jobs, education opportunities, tax relief and tourism to the state of Maine.”
The full ad can be viewed here.
“We’re excited to have the support of the Aroostook Band of Micmacs, particularly since Question 1 will create new economic benefits for Native American tribes and residents throughout Maine,” said Maine resident and Progress for Maine spokeswoman Rebecca Foster. “A gaming and entertainment center in York County creates so many opportunities for taxpayers, job seekers and business owners across the state. We hope Maine voters will join us in voting Yes on Question 1 to keep jobs, tourism and tax revenue in Maine.”
Kentucky-based Churchill Downs Inc. (CDI)—an opponent of Question 1—has tried to limit Native American support for a York County gaming and entertainment venue. These same opponents added a “poison pill” into a Maine law that will allow CDI to cut off funding from the Passamaquoddy and Penobscot tribes should Question 1 pass. Both tribes currently receive funding from the Oxford Casino and Question 1 gives them another $1 million a year—bringing the total to Passamaquoddy and Penobscot to over $3 million from gaming in Maine. The Aroostook Band of Micmacs were excluded and that is why the backers of Yes on 1 reached out to find a solution to this treatment by CDI and its lobbying firm of Preti-Flaherty.
The proposed York County gaming and entertainment venue would: create 2,165 permanent jobs and 2,767 construction jobs; generate $64.4 million in new household earnings from operation of the casino, and more than $100 million in household earnings from construction; and create at least $45 million a year in tax revenue for the state. Portions of that revenue will be dedicated to funding for Native American tribes, Maine veterans, property tax relief, senior citizens and other priorities.