Tribal-rights deal allowing sports betting at Bangor casino clears Maine Senate

AUGUSTA, Maine — The Maine Senate approved a bill from Gov. Janet Mills late Tuesday that would give tribes control of a new sports betting market after a change allowing in-person wagering at a Bangor casino.

The 23-11 vote effectively ensured the measure will go to the Democratic governor for a signature. It is on track to be the biggest overhaul of the state-tribal relationship to pass in 2022 since Mills still opposes a sweeping sovereignty measure preferred by tribes.

It is still a major step for tribes in their quest to renegotiate the terms of a 1980s land-claims settlement in which the tribes accepted tens of millions of dollars in exchange for being regulated like cities and towns. Other U.S. tribes enjoy sweeping rights over policy areas including gaming, an industry they have largely been shut out of in Maine.

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