- Associated Press - Monday, June 22, 2015

AUGUSTA, Maine (AP) - The Maine Senate has dealt a blow to an effort by the state’s American Indian tribes to open a casino.

The Republican-controlled Senate voted 18-16 against the bill Monday. The House approved it last week. If the two chambers can’t work out their differences, the bill will die.

It would allow a casino designed to benefit the state’s four federally recognized tribes to be built in Washington or Aroostook County. It would have to be approved by voters in that county.

Republican Sen. Mike Willette of Presque Isle said a casino wouldn’t cure all of the region’s economic problems but would be a “shot in the arm.”

But Democratic Sen. Geoff Gratwick of Bangor said Maine already has enough casinos.

Maine’s two existing casinos are located in Bangor and Oxford.

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