An Act Regarding the Issuance of Licenses by the Gambling Control Board and To Establish a Competitive Bidding Process for Future Operation of Slot Machines and Table Games in the State
Sec. 1. 8 MRSA §1011, sub-§2-B is enacted to read:
Sec. 2. 8 MRSA §1018, sub-§1-A is enacted to read:
Sec. 3. Commission established to develop a competitive bidding process for the operation of additional casinos or slot machine facilities. Notwithstanding Joint Rule 353, the Commission To Develop a Competitive Bidding Process for the Operation of Additional Casinos or Slot Machine Facilities, known in this section as "the commission," is established as follows.
1. Membership. The membership of the commission is as follows:
2. Appointments; cochairs. Appointments to the commission must be made by February 1, 2013. The first-named Senate member and the first-named House of Representatives member are cochairs of the commission.
3. Commission duties. The commission shall examine the impact of existing casinos on local economies and the state economy overall and any impacts on other forms of legal gambling conducted within the State. The commission shall examine the impact of the establishment of casinos or similar facilities in the states of New Hampshire and Massachusetts and neighboring provinces in Canada on the state economy and on the revenue generated by existing casinos in the State. The commission shall also gather information to determine the potential market for the establishment of new gambling opportunities in the State. The commission shall consider the feasibility of the licensing of expanded gambling activities by persons or groups who are eligible for existing licenses to conduct games of chance, beano, high-stakes beano, harness horse racing and off-track betting, including but not limited to the operation of slot machines and table games. The commission shall develop recommendations for a competitive bidding process for the privilege to submit an application to the Department of Public Safety, Gambling Control Board for the operation of a slot machine facility or a casino. The recommendation for a competitive bidding process must include a minimum nonrefundable application privilege fee of $250,000 as provided in the Maine Revised Statutes, Title 8, section 1018, subsection 1-A. The recommendation must also include a minimum cash bid or license fee of $5,000,000 in order to submit an application to the Gambling Control Board for an initial license to operate a slot machine facility or a casino except that the commission may recommend a minimum cash bid or license fee in an amount other than $5,000,000 when a deviation from the $5,000,000 amount is warranted based on the geography or demographics of the location of a proposed slot machine facility or casino or the size of the proposed slot machine facility or casino.
4. Meetings; compensation. The commission shall hold no more than 6 meetings. The commission may seek comment from members of the public to assist in the development of the recommendations required by subsection 3. Legislative members are entitled to receive the legislative per diem and reimbursement of necessary expenses for their attendance at authorized meetings of the commission when the Legislature is not in session.
5. Report and legislation. By February 15, 2014, the commission shall submit a report based on its findings under subsection 3, including any recommendations for legislation, to the joint standing committee of the Legislature having jurisdiction over casino matters, which is authorized to report out legislation to the Second Regular Session of the 126th Legislature.
6. Staff. The Department of Administrative and Financial Services shall provide staff to the commission. The Office of Policy and Legal Analysis shall provide drafting assistance to the commission.