AUGUSTA (AP) – Critics of a proposed Down East racetrack casino are accusing the Passamaquoddy Tribe of withholding information about investors.

But the tribe says there’s a simple reason why it’s not sharing the information. Tribal leaders say they haven’t lined up any outside investors to help build and operate the proposed racino, which is on the statewide ballot next month.

The issue was raised after Yes on Question 1, a political action committee created by racino supporters, began running a radio ad that mentioned that the racino would be “majority-owned” by the Passamaquoddy Tribe.

Casinos No!, which opposes the racino, believes the tribe previously suggested that the tribe would be sole owner, but Passamaquoddies dispute that.

“I don’t think we’ve ever claimed we’d be the sole owner,” said Gov. Richard Doyle of the Passamaquoddy Tribe’s reservation at Pleasant Point.

If the tribe brings in other investors, the tribe will retain majority ownership of the racino, as noted in the radio ad, Doyle said.

Even if the Passamaquoddies are majority owners, voters should know who the minority investors are before they vote, said Dennis Bailey of Casinos No!

Doyle said referendum organizers are “just focused on the campaign” to win voter approval as the election draws near. The investors would come in later, he said. “We do expect that there may be investors, but that has not been determined yet,” he said.

Donald Soctomah, the Passamaquoddy Tribe’s representative in the Legislature, said the tribe will be calling the shots, not minority investors. “Casinos No! is trying to fog up the issue. They’re trying to confuse the voters,” he said.


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