Maine Senate defeats casino bill - Apr. 02, 2014
A bill to allow the Passamaquoddy Tribe to operate a casino in Calais was defeated in the state Senate late last Thursday, March 27.
According to a report in the Bangor Daily News, the Senate voted to uphold its previous rejections despite pleas from some lawmakers to clear the way for the bill by instituting a statewide gaming policy.
Bill LD 1520, would have paved the way for a referendum which, if successful, would allow the Passamaquoddy Tribe to operate slot machines at a gaming facility in Washington County. Calais appeared to have been the preferred site for that facility.
St. Stephen Mayor John Quartermain said the town had sent a letter of support for the development of a casino in Calais. The letter stated a casino would not only help attract many tourists to the area but encourage them to stay longer.
Signed by Deputy Mayor John Ames, the letter stated the sister communities of Calais and St. Stephen had “a long commitment to friendship and pursuits of international trade.”
Quartermain said the town was supportive of Calais. “If it’s good for them, it’s good for us.”
He said a casino wouldn’t “hugely impact” St. Stephen but the town could benefit from cross border visitors who stop and eat or shop on trips over or back.