Lawmakers discuss tribal gaming as part of tribal sovereignty bill

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AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - The discussion over tribal sovereignty continued Wednesday in Augusta -- one of the major topics was tribal gaming.

Tribes in Maine are not able to see the money that most tribes around the country can through gaming.

A task force on tribal sovereignty recommended lawmakers allow state tribes to follow the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988.

Proponents say that would significantly benefit the tribes and the state.

"Revenues that the tribes can make here in Maine from gaming and the spin-off businesses that would be invested in from the gaming profit could greatly help improve the every day life of the tribes," said Rep. Ben Collings, D-Portland. "It would directly go back into health care, to the children, to the Elders, to the education, infrastructures."

The gaming piece is among many recommendations by the task force.

The overarching bill also focuses on criminal jurisdiction, taxation and natural resources.