The governor for the American state of Maine has reportedly signed legislation into law that will allow the eastern jurisdiction’s four federally-recognized tribes to operate mobile-friendly online sportsbetting services.
According to a Monday report from local television broadcaster WCSH-TV, the move by Governor Janet Mills (pictured) means that the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, the Penobscot Nation, the Mi’kmaq Tribe and the Passamaquoddy Tribe are to have a monopoly over online sports wagering in ‘The Pine Tree State’. The source detailed that the legislation will also permit the quartet to keep any revenues from sports wagering in lieu of giving the groups a greater measure of sovereignty.
The 74-year-old Mills reportedly touted the fresh measure as the most significant tribal bill in decades although it does not revoke a provision within the 1980 Maine Indian Land Claim Settlement that forbids the state’s four tribes from exercising the same sovereignty as is enjoyed by their compatriots in other states. The legislation signed into law by the Democratic leader on Monday purportedly moreover includes some associated tax relief and collaboration measures and is to see Maine become the 32nd American jurisdiction to have legalized some form of sports wagering in the wake of the 2018 revocation of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA).
Reportedly read a statement from Mills…
“This law provides meaningful economic opportunities for the Wabanaki Nations. It incentivizes investment in tribal communities and it formalizes a collaboration process on policy that sets the foundation for a stronger relationship in the future.”
Maine State Senator Bill Diamond reportedly led earlier unsuccessful efforts to pass a local sportsbetting bill and reportedly asserted that he sensed significant legislative support for this measure in March owing to thawing relations with the Wabanaki Nations, which is a collective term for the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians, the Penobscot Nation, the Mi’kmaq Tribe and the Passamaquoddy Tribe.
A statement from Diamond reportedly read…
“I do believe legislators, in general, feel it’s high time the people of the Wabanaki Nations get their fair share of this because they’ve been left behind so many times and I think that’s a priority.”
Despite welcoming the news that they are to be allowed to operate online sportsbetting in the state of almost 1.4 million people, the four tribes purportedly noted that they are to continue pushing for greater autonomy as part of the longer-term goal of obtaining full sovereignty. WCSH-TV reported that this aim was additionally helped by a provision in the new legislation that will permit the Passamaquoddy Tribe to work with the United States Environmental Protection Agency instead of this federal body’s local counterparts so as to manage the water supply for its Pleasant Point Reservation.
A joint statement issued by the four tribes reportedly read…
“Permanent sovereignty restoration remains the legislative priority for the Wabanaki Nations and it will continue to be our priority moving forward.”