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Penobscot Nation Wants to Add 400 Slots at Indian Island

February 6, 2008

INDIAN ISLAND, ME A bill has been sent to the state legislature from the Legal and Veterans Affairs Committee that would legalize 400 slot machines on Indian Island.

Chief Kirk Francis of the Penobscot Nation says revenues from Penobscot High Stakes Bingo have been declining in recent years leaving less money for health care and law enforcement. He feels a significant reason for the decline is due to the slot machines at Hollywood Slots in Bangor. The addition of slot machines to Indian Island would revitalize tribal revenues.

"This bill is as reasonable as it gets," said Chief Francis. "I think it addresses not much more than our need here, and it helps us succeed as a government again in getting those services out to people." He added that he is willing to negotiate a lower number of slot machines if necessary for approval.

Final approval may require a ballot measure. Governor Baldacci has opposed previous attempts to expand slots without a voter referendum.


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